The women’s soccer team won its second Ivy contest of the season, defeating Brown on Saturday 2-1 in Providence, R.I. With the win, the Red (8-4-1, 2-4 Ivy) has clinched its first winning season since 1999, and the first under head coach Berhane Andeberhan. The Bears (5-7-2, 0-4-1) failed to win its first conference game this season and have now dropped six of their past eight games
“Saturday’s win was a very, very sweet victory for the team. It got us all excited and it was a very satisfying win,” said Andeberhan.
Against a very physical Brown squad, the booters came out strong from the beginning, dominating play for most of the first half. Andeberhan has implemented a new system in the past few games to prevent the team from coming out flat-footed and on Saturday the Red had no such problems.
“We’ve been playing well lately, and there was an added challenge in playing Brown because they play a very physical game, whereas we play a technical game,” remarked Andeberhan. “Traditionally, we haven’t been very good against physical teams. We continued to play a constructive game against Brown, where in the past we would try to be physical. We were able to weather the physical game and still play a creative one,” he continued.
The teams battled constant rain and poor field conditions throughout the first half, but neither team was able to put up any goals. The Red opened the scoring in the first minute of the second half. Junior Jo Galardy brought the ball up the left wing to the corner, and crossed it to freshman Shannon Fraser in the middle. Fraser then slipped it to senior co-captain Sarah Olsen who had just entered the box. Olsen then calmly placed the ball past Brown goalie Sarah Gervais for her fifth goal of the season and third in the past two games.
Last year against Brown, sophomore goalie Katie Thomas hurt her knee after being pushed from behind by a Brown player as she went up to clear the ball from a Brown corner kick.
“Thomas was very steady in goal, she played a great game. Brown does some unusual things on corner kicks. We complained to the referee after Katie got hit last year. Katie is very vulnerable when she jumps in the air to clear the ball during a corner, so we made the adjustment for this game,” said Andeberhan.
Brown struck back after a Cornell miscue. The Red’s defenders stopped because they thought the ball had gone out of bounds. The Bears took advantage of this, as senior Kristin Nabb collected the ball and sent a long cross into the box. Junior Molly Cahan then one-timed it past Thomas to tie the game in the 68th minute.
“We were very business like, really intense after Brown’s goal. We definitely had more determination after they scored against us,” commented Andeberhan.
With just over 10 minutes remaining in the game, the Red notched the game-winning goal. Fraser collected the ball after a Brown turnover at midfield, and beat three players out on the right side, just as freshman Ali Gombar was making a run at the defenders. Fraser then made a diagonal pass to Gombar, who received it cleanly, and made a run to the goal on a breakaway. She then beat out Gervais for her first collegiate goal, and secured the game for the Red.
“Shannon basically wrecked the defense. It was a really professional goal. Our defending at midfield helped set up the score,” said Andeberhan.
Thomas finished the game with five saves, with Gervais stopping 12 for the Bears. Cornell outshot Brown 16-15, with the Bears getting called for 10 fouls during the game. Fraser has notched four assists in the past two games and remains the team’s leading scorer with 12 points, while Olsen recorded her team-leading fifth goal of the season.
The Red will travel to Syracuse on Wednesday, where it will look to go perfect in non-conference play this season. Next Saturday, the booters return home for their final game of the season against Princeton, who had been the only unbeaten, untied team left in the country, until Harvard handed the Tigers its first loss of the season this past weekend.
Archived article by Jonathan Auerbach