Last weekend, they played under beautiful sunshine against a backdrop of palm trees and golden beaches in Hawaii. Tomorrow, they return home to Ithaca, home of gorges and fall chills. By all accounts, it’s nice to play on the women’s soccer team. Who among us wouldn’t love to join in their cross country travels? But make no mistake about it — these footballers don’t go along just for the ride. They mean business.
“During our trip to Hawaii,” said head coach Berhane Andeberhan, “I was really proud of the whole team. We were playing near beautiful sun and beautiful beaches, but they didn’t let that interfere once. They were professional the whole time.”
Last week in Hawaii, the Red toppled a powerful Rainbows team which had one of the most potent offenses in the country.
“Going into that game, we really didn’t know what to expect,” recalled Andeberhan. “On paper, I think they actually looked better, but we played intensely — wrestling almost at times — and weathered the storm.”
Though the Rainbows outshot the Red, 16-8, senior co-captain Emily Knight scored the only goals of the game, and junior goalie Katie Thomas recorded her second shutout of the season to help Cornell leave with a 2-0 win.
This weekend, Andeberhan and his team hope to maintain that focus, as they enter their first league game of the season against Columbia. The Red heads into the contest riding a four game winning streak and boasting a 4-1-1 record. The Lions enter tomorrow’s match-up with a 2-3-1 record, having dropped two of their last three games and tying one. Cornell hopes that its momentum, combined with Columbia’s slide, will give it an edge in the game.
“We definitely have momentum,” Andeberhan continued. “Columbia’s coming off a few losses and close games, and we’ve been playing very well lately.”
But, Andeberhan also knows not to discount his team’s Ivy foes.
“It’s also probably fair to say that we’re pretty evenly matched in terms of talent,” he said. “And they will play rough. The line on us is that we’re small up front and don’t play physically.”
Physical play has never discouraged this team, however. According to Andeberhan, Hawaii tried to outmuscle his booters on the field, but the Red stepped up to the challenge.
And, he predicts they will rise to meet it again this weekend.
“I have news for them — we’re just as tough,” he said.
Archived article by Everett Hullverson