Highlighted by a career day from senior Sarah Averson, the women’s lacrosse team knocked off Rutgers, 15-7, to notch the 200th win in program history. With the win, the Red (2-0, 0-0 Ivy) remains undefeated against the Scarlet Knights (0-1) and extends its home winning streak to a record 14-straight games dating back to the 2001 season.
“The game was a bit of a roller coaster. I think we had moments of brilliance and then times of slumping and inconsistent play,” commented head coach Jenny Graap ’86.
Senior Sarah Fischer opened the scoring for the Red a minute into the game, as she brought the ball from behind the net and took a dropping shot that evaded Rutgers goalie Lyndsey Feldman. Averson and senior Katie Lavin each connected on free position shots to put the laxers up 3-0 after five minutes of play.
Cali Wojdyla set up the Scarlet Knights’ first two goals, as Rutgers pulled within one midway through the half, at which point Graap called timeout.
“Rutgers is the kind of team that will capitalize on mistakes for sure. I wasn’t too pleased that we let them score some of those goals which we were prepared for. We had known what their tendencies were and we were trying to deny some of that, and we just were a little bit off,” said Graap.
The Red stopped Rutgers from building any momentum, as it scored four unanswered goals in the span of five minutes. Sophomore Julia Hughey and junior Jaime Quinn each connected on feeds from Averson, and then Averson took one in herself to put the Red up 6-2. Fischer added her second goal of the game on an unassisted tally with eight minutes left in the half.
Each team added two more goals before the end of the half, with Averson and Quinn scoring their third and second goals of the game, respectively.
The Red opened the scoring quickly in the second half, as senior co-captain Rachel Friedman got the ball off the opening draw and fed junior Kate Hirschfield to give Cornell a six-goal lead. It was Friedman’s first assist since her freshman year. Rutgers scored two consecutive goals to cut the lead to four, before the Red went on a five-goal run to pull away.
“We shot better in the second half. I think in the first half, we were making their goalie look pretty good. We shot some point-blank right at her stick. Averson had three straight free position shots and she only scored on one of them, so I think getting our shooting going was a factor,” commented Graap.
Averson and Fischer were responsible for four of the team’s five straight goals, as sophomore Lindsay Steinberg, who had four goals last week in her first career start, was silenced by the Rutgers defense.
“Rutgers’ best defender marked Steinberg the entire game, and then Fisch started to score a lot, so they faceguarded her. They tried to do it individually defensively, so we capitalized by working together,” said Averson.
Fischer assisted on Quinn’s goal at 16:39, then put one by Feldman off an assist from Hughey at 11:32. Averson scored two straight goals in the span of a minute, weaving through the Rutgers defense to tally an unassisted marker, and then taking a feed from freshman Lyndsay Robinson. Fischer capped off the Red’s scoring by making a great play to fake out the defense for her fourth goal of the game at 8:10.
Rutgers added one last goal at 3:43, but was unable to mount a comeback, as the Red came away with the win. Junior Ashley Charron made nine saves in net, and freshman Maggie Fava came on for the final minutes of the game, but did not see any shots. A lot of underclassmen saw playing time in the latter part of the second half, and freshman Lisa Giugliano put a shot by Feldman at the buzzer that was waived off.
“I was very pleased with Lyndsay Robinson, who came in at center and took some of the draw controls for us. I think she showed some good poise out there and got some significant minutes,” remarked Graap. “I think whenever you can get your younger players in and get them some experience and time is positive, and all of that will help us down the road.”
Averson set career highs in points and assists, as she had five goals to go along with three helpers. She is one score away from her 100th career goal. Senior co-captain Erica Holveck equaled her career high in ground balls by scooping up six in addition to causing three turnovers.
The Red will hit the road for three games over Spring Break at Fairfield, Delaware, and Columbia. The team’s next home game will be against Princeton on April 4.
Archived article by Jonathan Auerbach