The field hockey team set two records this weekend. First, by extending its six-game winning streak with a 3-1 win over Columbia. Second, with junior attack Carissa Mirasol moving up to fourth place on the all-time assist leader listing.
Cornell opened strong. Within the first two minutes, juniors Mirasol and Lindsay Grace were on a breakaway. Seconds later, Mirasol passed to Grace for the first goal of the game. Almost immediately following that, Grace and sophomore attack Stephanie Maher ran the same play. This time Maher found the back of the net, giving the Red a two-goal lead with 66 minutes left in regulation time.
While it continued to control the ball and gain penalty corners for the rest of the half, Cornell could not notch any additional goals. However, the credit cannot go to Columbia’s defense.
“Our corner unit was off again … and it’s getting very frustrating,” said head coach Michelle Tambroni.
Still, Tambroni did not place the blame entirely on her team, but on the playing surface. Compared to Schoellkopf Field, the turf at Columbia is very compact, and according to Tambroni, “totally different.”
Additionally, the Lions athletic department does not wet the turf before games. As a result, the ball is harder to control.
The closing minutes of the first half saw not only a Columbia goal, but also an injury to the Cornell team. Senior back Sarah Rosenbaum took a ball to the chin and would not return until the game’s final minutes.
As the game resumed for the second half, so did old habits. Cornell played timidly and allowed Columbia to earn nine penalty corners. While the Red continued its trend of solid play, the unit was unable to clear the ball out completely. Often Columbia would regain control and turn the ball around for another scoring opportunity.
Halfway through the second half, Cornell returned to its opening form and sealed the win with two minutes left in regulation. Maher set Grace up after the two broke away from the Cornell end.
Grace was an integral part of the offensive effort against Columbia. Besides her assist and two goals, she was able to set up penalty corners in key moments. Tambroni was pleased not just with the efforts of Grace, but with the team as a whole.
“Our transition was excellent, especially from left to right,” said Tambroni.
She was also pleased with the breakaway opportunities and offensive plays that Cornell was able to capitalize on. Still, Tambroni mentioned that the team has yet to play a full 70 minutes in Cornell’s style.
Senior captain Sarah Nordstrom agreed with the assessment.
“I think we just need to bring all the elements together at once. It seems like each game something is missing, but as the season progresses, we’re getting better at that,” said Nordstrom.
After extending its Ivy record to 3-0, Cornell looks to be as successful during the second half of the season. Though the team will have to face multiple nationally ranked opponents in the next few weeks, both players and coaches feel they are ready for the challenge.
Their new team goal is to get themselves into the top 20.
Cornell’s next contest will be against No. 19 Syracuse tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. on Schoellkopf Field.
Archived article by Matt Janiga