The women’s soccer team notched its seventh win of the season last night with a 4-0 win against Wagner under the lights on Berman Field. The Red (7-4-1, 1-4) continued its domination in non-conference play, improving to a 6-0-1 record. The Seahawks (3-12-2) extended their winless streak to six games, over which they have lost five games and recorded one tie. Senior co-captain Sarah Olsen netted two goals in the win, upping her season total to four.
“We’ve had a series of really tough, intense games, so we were able to relax a little bit tonight. I still wanted us to play well. Against Marist in Vermont, we had a relatively easy game, and we just never relaxed enough to take advantage of it,” remarked head coach Berhane Andeberhan. “Obviously as a coach you’re always about one thing or another, and I was worried about that, but the kids came out well, and we were able to relax pretty quickly after the first goal.”
The booters controlled the ball from the get-go, registering a shot in the first minute of play. After seven minutes, the Red had already won four corners and recorded numerous shots against Wagner keeper Dana Honcharuk.
Olsen recorded the first of the Red’s four goals in 17th minute. Freshman Shannon Fraser passed back to Olsen, who then chipped the ball over Honcharuk’s head. Olsen would have several more scoring chances in the first half before she was subbed out.
Coming off the bench for the Red, junior Leigh Ann Schwartz scored her first collegiate goal in the 31st minute. After Cornell stole the ball from a Wagner defender, Schwartz took a pass from freshman Kara Ishikawa and fired a high shot that beat Honcharuk on the right side.
Cornell dominated the first half, with Wagner unable to register a single shot. The few chances that the Seahawks did have were immediately stopped by the Cornell backs, who didn’t let the ball get through to sophomore keeper Katie Thomas. By the 30th minute, Andeberhan had replaced every midfielder and forward, with the backs replaced at the beginning of the second half.
“I’m grateful that finally I get a chance to play my whole team. That’s not the primary thing, but they’ve been working so hard, a lot of these kids have been working hard and have wonderful attitudes, it’s rewarding to finally get them a chance to play. I’m happy in that sense,” commented Andeberhan.
Senior Kristin Lotito came in to replace Thomas in goal for the second half. The Red tacked on another score in the 54th minute. After a Cornell free kick in the Wagner zone, junior Emily Knight recovered the ball on the left side after a shot by junior Jo Galardy and hit the back of the net for her third goal of the season.
Freshman Michelle Quensell generated a number of scoring chances for the Red. She stole a loose ball from the keeper, but was unable to convert on the opportunity, and later in the half hit the right post on a shot from the right side.
Olsen would finish up the scoring for the Red in the 62nd minute on a feed from Fraser. Unlike in past games, the booters did not get complacent in the second half, leading by their biggest margin of the season. Wagner found it difficult to get the ball past a stifling Cornell defense.
“These kinds of games are not easy to play. You can easily lose your rhythm because you’re not feeling the pressure, and so in that sense you get out of your game. I think the team kept playing well and maintained a good level of concentration,” said Andeberhan.
The Seahawks were finally able to register a shot with 22 minutes remaining in the game. Wagner’s initial shot was deflected into the middle of the box, and Lotito came out to smother the ball. One of the Seahawks beat her to it, and fired the ball at the open net. Fortunately for the Red, sophomore Ann Hubert was on the goal line, and made a nice clear to preserve the shutout. In seven non-conference games this season, the Red has yet to allow a goal.
Cornell outshot Wagner in the contest, 39-1. Wagner keeper Honcharuk had 10 saves, while Thomas and Lotito had none.
The booters will travel to Providence this weekend for a 5 p.m. contest versus Brown. Next Wednesday, the team will face off against in-state rival Syracuse in Syracuse before finishing out the season at home on Nov. 2 against Princeton.
Archived article by Jonathan Auerbach