The women’s soccer team notched its sixth win of the season with a 2-0 win against Bucknell under the lights on Berman Field last night. The Red (6-2-1, 1-2 Ivy) continued its domination of Patriot League teams this season, blanking all three teams it has faced from that division, with freshman Shannon Fraser recording the game-winning goal last night. The Bison fell to 5-5-1 on the year, and will look to rebound against Army on Saturday. The Red was able to double its offensive production from last weekend, when it only scored one goal in two games against Vermont and Marist.
“I was very pleased [with the team’s performance]. They’ve been playing well, and at least tonight we were rewarded with a couple of goals and they were good goals, so I’m happy,” commented head coach Berhane Andeberhan. “We were very frustrated last game not being able to score, so I’m very pleased with the team.”
The booters had trouble gaining control of the ball in the opening minutes of the first half, but soon found their rhythm and began to push towards the Bucknell end. The Red got on the board early when junior Emily Knight brought the ball up the left side of the field. She found her favorite target in a streaking Fraser, who received the pass in the middle and beat the lone defender. Fraser then booted the ball to the right side of the net, beating out Bucknell goalie Laurie Purse in the 12th minute. The goal was Fraser’s third on the season, while Knight tallied her third assist. Knight has had an assist on each of Fraser’s goals this season, which have all been game-winners.
The Red had several scoring chances in the first half, while the Bison did not muster any offense until the latter part of the half. Fraser nearly connected on another shot from far out, but Purse deflected the ball over the crossbar. With Bucknell making a push in the last 10 minutes of the half, Knight received the ball downfield and beat out several defenders before launching a high shot over the goal.
“I think we played with a little more rhythm, but in the latter part of the first half, we started to do some things that made us inefficient in the last game, so we talked about it at halftime,” remarked Andeberhan. “I’m glad to see we were able to eliminate the cozy, complacent play. When things are going well for you, that’s when you’ve got to strike, and we tended to play the simple available play and not challenge the defense.”
At the beginning of the second half, the Red challenged the Bison defense. A high ball sailed over Purse, and the Red rushed to attempt to convert another score, but the Bison defenders headed the ball over the goal. After the ensuing corner kick, Fraser was tripped up, leading to a Red free kick from the right side. Senior co-captain Sarah Olsen placed the ball to the left side of the net, but Purse was there to make the save.
Bucknell began to generate some offense, keeping the ball in the Cornell zone and winning the battle in the midfield. The Red’s defense held firm, and sophomore Katie Thomas was sparkling in net. With several Bison pursuing an open ball in the box, Thomas charged forward to smother the ball.
“The defense played well. I’ve been concerned with the defense at midfield and they really picked it up,” said Andeberhan. “Our back line has been playing well all year, and I can only think of one mistake the whole season. We haven’t really made a lot of mistakes in the back.”
The Red had two more good scoring chances before it was able to notch the second goal of the game. Sophomore Megan Healey brought the ball down the left side of the field and crossed it into the middle to sophomore Kelley Hess. Hess’s header beat Purse, but the ball inched just wide to the right. Later in the half, Fraser had the ball downfield with only two defenders to beat, but Bucknell tried to draw sophomore Emily Wyffels offside, and the drive was broken up.
Bucknell put together its best scoring chances of the night in the last 10 minutes of the game. After a corner kick in the Cornell zone, Bucknell took a hard shot from the 18-yard line which was blocked by a Cornell defender. Another Bison shot from far out came through traffic, but Thomas was able to follow it and make the save.
In the last minute of play, Fraser brought the ball downfield on the left side and found Olsen in the middle of the box. Olsen broke free from the defenders and hit the back of the net on the right side in the 90th minute to seal the win for the Red. This was Olsen’s second goal in three games, with Fraser recording her second assist of the season. The freshman standout now leads the team in scoring with eight points on the year, in front of Knight, who upped her total to seven.
Thomas recorded her fifth shutout of the season, with her goals against average falling to 0.625. With the win, the Red remains undefeated in non-conference play this season with a record of 5-0-1, and has not allowed a goal in all six of those games. The Red’s next game will be on Saturday, when it travels to Cambridge to face Ivy foe Harvard.
Archived article by Jonathan Auerbach