With only three games left in its season, the field hockey team (3-10, 1-5 Ivy League) will travel today to Syracuse to face the intrastate rival Syracuse Orange (6-10, 1-4 Big East). Both teams head into this match coming off tough losses.
Last Sunday, the Red fell to the Brown Bears, 2-1, surrendering two goals in the final 15 minutes of play. The heartbreaking loss was just another addition to a string of defeats in which Cornell has been competitive but been unable to come out on top. This list includes, among others, matches against Yale, Rhode Island, Holy Cross and Penn. Cornell now has dropped nine out of its last 10 coming into today’s game.
Syracuse has similarly fallen upon hard times when last week it fell to Connecticut, 2-1. It was the fifth Syracuse loss this season that was decided by one goal. With this loss, the Orange failed to qualify for the Big East tournament for the first time in 14 years.
Unfortunately for the Red, Syracuse holds a decisive advantage in the history of the series. The Red is 1-19-1 all-time against the Orange, with Cornell’s only victory coming in 1983. Last year, Syracuse halted a six-game winning streak with a 2-0 victory. The squad, however, remains optimistic that things will be different this year.
“We feel pretty good about this match,” said senior tri-captain Kimmy Gardner. “They have lost a bunch of top players from last season which has put a downer on their team. Every year has been a close match, we are on the road to beating them.”
For this trend to change, Cornell’s offense, which has only two tallies in its last six games, will need to find the back of the net more often. Senior tri-captain Karleigh Burns leads the squad in scoring with nine points on the year (three goals, three assists) including the lone goal last weekend.
Junior Gina Testa is second with eight points on the year including a team-high four goals. They will have to beat Syracuse’s Betsy Wagner, who has posted a 2.13 goals against average and a .699 save percentage.
“We need to capitalize on our opportunities, especially to capitalize in the circle,” said senior goalie Kaitlin Tierney. “Their goalie is pretty good but we should be able to score upon her.”
Defensively, Teirney will need to continue to be solid in net as the Orange’s offense has been dangerous at times this season. A week ago Syracuse registered five goals against Colgate, including a hat trick by Joanne Lombard and two goals by Michelle Sola. Meredith Gettel, Ann-Marie Guglieri and Jackie Sheaffer have also wreaked havoc around the net for the Orange.
After its bout with Syracuse, Cornell has two games remaining in the season, a home contest against Colgate this Saturday and its Ivy League finale against Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H. next weekend.
Archived article by Chris Callanan