SYRACUSE, NY — The warm weather turned cold last night, and as the air chilled the women’s lacrosse team traveled to Syracuse to take on the Orangewomen at the Carrier Dome. The game carried some important postseason implications for the Red; coming off a pair of losses against Ohio State and Dartmouth, the team was looking for a victory to regain its confidence and solidify its postseason hopes.
But Syracuse wasn’t giving anything up.
Cornell took a 1-0 lead fifty-seven seconds into the game, but four minutes later Syracuse tied it, and the Red never regained the lead.
“Their shooting was very accurate and our defense had some breakdowns,” said head coach Jenny Graap ’86.
The No. 12 Red (7-4, 2-2 Ivy) fell to the No. 11 Orangewomen (9-3) by a score of 12-8.
“We’re comfortable playing here [at the Carrier Dome]. We practice here, it’s a huge home field advantage,” said Syracuse head coach Lisa Miller. “We shot well; we put the ball away.”
Syracuse played with a pair of losses in mind; last season the Red beat the Orangewomen twice, including a 16-8 dismantling in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Ithaca. The Orangewomen also preserved their twelve game winning streak in the Carrier Dome.
That’s not to say the Red never put up a fight. Cornell came out of the first half down 3-7, on several tough calls and bad bounces. And every time the Red’s defense gave them an inch, Syracuse took it, firing in fast breaks and point-blank one timers to earn their lead.
In the second though, the Red came out firing.
“We just took it hard to the cage right away,” said Graap. “All the momentum was with us.”
The laxers grabbed the draw and took five straight shots before senior Sarah Averson put it in the net. After another Cornell goal put the score at 5-7, Syracuse made a drive for the net, but junior goaltender Ashley Charron stopped a free position shot to help the Red keep rolling.
One possession later, Syracuse scored, but the Red answered with two more goals to bring the score to 7-8. In the next four minutes the teams each put up a goal, but with the score at 8-9, Syracuse caught a break away and brought its lead back to two with eight minutes left.
From there Cornell fought but the Orangewomen kept the momentum on the way to the game’s final score.
“We’d get close, but we couldn’t get over that hump,” said Graap.
The first half score proved just a little too much to overcome.
“The difference was Cornell did not play with the same intensity it did in the first half as it did in the second,” Graap noted.
The game marked the return of senior captain Erica Holveck and junior Kate Hirschfield from injury. Senior attacker Sarah Fischer, however, was hurt and could not play.
“Having [Hirschfield] back is important, especially with Fischer out,” said Graap.
“It’s tough to replace Fischer because she’s such a scoring power,” continued the coach.
With her return, Holveck, normally a defensive midfielder, helped the Red on both ends of the field, playing more on the attack than she has all season.
“Erica was important to us all game with her speed. She helped us both on defense and offense,” noted Graap.
Averson was the game’s other star, tallying four of the Red’s goals for the night.
Cornell is in action again this Saturday at 3:00 against Brown in the team’s fifth Ivy contest.
The team will be looking to start a drive toward the postseason and rebuild its confidence against the Bears.
“It’s important that the individuals don’t get themselves down,” said Graap.
After all, spring is on the way.
Archived article by Matt James