The field hockey team will hunt for a spot in the national poll this weekend as it takes on the No. 20 Harvard Crimson and No. 19 Maine Black Bears on Jordan Field in Cambridge, Mass. The Red cannot expect to walk into a pair of wins however, especially when it concerns Harvard.
The Crimson is currently 3-0 in Ivy League play and 6-3 overall. Though the numbers match up with those posted by the Red, Harvard’s three losses are to nationally-ranked teams or those who have received votes in the coaches’ poll. Harvard has also posted four shutouts on the season.
Cornell has also gone the distance with nationally-ranked teams. One of the team’s defensive highlights was when it held Kent State (now No. 7) to just one late goal. Though the Red only boasts one shutout on the season, it has had many productive offensive games, such as the 4-1 opener over Nor-Pac powerhouse Stanford.
The Red and Crimson are similar when comparing goaltenders and forwards. Still, differences arise when it comes to the speed of individual players. Look for head coach Michelle Tambroni to exploit these mismatches and for Cornell to have some scoring opportunities off the fast break.
Tambroni is also counting on Cornell’s age be one of the deciding factors.
“We’re a bit older, and I hope that game experience will work in our favor,” said Tambroni.
Right now, both teams are undefeated in league play and whoever wins tomorrow matchup will be one step closer to this year’s Ivy League title.
Maine will offer another chance for the Red to gain national attention as the two teams meet for the first time this Sunday. The Black Bears are currently 9-1 on the season — the only loss being their August opener. While Tambroni expressed some discomfort with Maine’s streak, she admitted that it was not the first thing on her mind.
“I’m concerned about it, but right now I’ve got Harvard on the brain,” said Tambroni. One reason for this is strength of schedule. Harvard has taken on multiple nationally-ranked opponents, whereas Maine has faced none. Additionally, the Black Bears are not a league threat.
Tambroni will most likely keep Cornell’s winning lineup intact for the weekend’s games, although there will be one noticeable change in the backfield — someone needs to fill the void left by senior back Sarah Rosenbaum.
Rosenbaum was hit by a shot just above the knee during the match against Syracuse.
Though she suffered no major ligament or joint damage, there was some swelling above the knee. Tambroni commented that she would most likely use Rosenbaum over the weekend, but she had yet to decide what role the senior would play on the field.
“We’ll know after tonight,” said Tambroni, referring to yesterday’s practice.
Archived article by Matt Janiga