The field hockey team will look to get off to a strong start this season as it travels to Worcester, Mass. to face off against the Holy Cross Crusaders (1-0) today and the Georgetown Hoyas (1-1) tomorrow. The games will not only be the first of the season for the Red, but also the first under interim head coach Phillip Sykes and interim assistant coach Elizabeth Sullivan. Both were appointed towards the end of the summer, giving the Red little time for adjustment before its season starts.
Sykes and Sullivan inherit a team that finished 9-8 last season (3-4 Ivy League) and returns seven seniors to the roster including All-American Carissa Mirasol, and two All-Ivy honorees: Kimmy Gardner and Lindsay Grace. The trio tied for the team lead in points last season, each recording 17 and will look to spark the Red’s offense this weekend.
The Red also returns senior goalie Kaitlin Tierney, who has been solid between the pipes for the past three seasons.
The weekend will show how the Red is adapting to its new style of play. Sykes has brought in an offensive scheme that revolves more on passing and a defense that has shifted from man to zone.
“This is a big test,” he remarked. “We are trying a lot of new things.”
The Red will have no easy task in testing its new look, as both the Crusaders and the Hoyas are formidable teams. Holy Cross, which finished 10-10 last year, comes into the season ranked second in the preseason Patriot League poll. The Crusaders have so far indicated that the ranking is deserved, soundly defeating Siena last Friday, 3-1. They return top goalie Jen Corsilli and six of the top seven scorers from last season, including two-time league all-star Heather Yanusas.
The Hoyas, who finished 9-8 last season, also have many weapons in their arsenal, most notably Jessica Quinn, their high scorer from last year. Quinn already has four goals on the season, including a hat trick in the team’s game against Longwood. The Red will also need to contain playmaker Leeanne Rizzo Quinn, the career assist leader for Georgetown. What is most dangerous about the Hoyas is their unpredictable play.
As Sykes pointed out, “Georgetown is very tough to play against because they play all over the place, you really don’t know what they are going to do.”
Despite the tough opposition and the short time Sykes and the team have had together, the Red look to be up to the task.
“I think we have a good chance against both teams,” Sykes commented on the weekend. “It is just a matter of Cornell, applying what we have worked on this fall and trusting each other during the game.”
Archived article by Chris Callanan