October 29, 2003

W. Soccer Welcomes Bulls to Ithaca

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For the second week in a row, the women’s soccer team dropped an overtime heartbreaker to an Ivy League opponent. Two weeks ago, on a muddy field in New Haven, Yale punched in a fluke goal to beat the Red, 2-1, in double overtime. Saturday, Brown scored 55 seconds after regulation to defeat Cornell, 3-2, on Berman field.

The homecoming loss disheartened many on the team, especially the seniors. For them, the game was the last they will play against a league rival at home. More pertinent, however, is the fact that the loss dropped the team’s overall record to 7-4-2 and its Ivy record to 1-3-1. With three games left to play — two of them against Ivy opponents Princeton and Dartmouth — the Red must regroup and win them all if it hopes to salvage its season. Tonight, the team hopes to take a step in the right direction when it plays non-conference opponent Buffalo.

“The Homecoming loss was obviously disappointing,” said senior co-captain Karne Hukee. “But we’ll just move on and do our best from here on out.”

That optimistic attitude may prove the deciding factor in tonight’s game. Buffalo enters the contest with a 10-7-1 record — a winning percentage slightly better than Cornell’s. But statistics don’t scare head coach Berhane Andeberhan.

“I expect to compete very well against Buffalo,” he said. “We just need to focus on playing our game, and we’ll be o.k.”

That means that the Red must control the ball, create scoring opportunities, and defend against the Bulls’ leading scorer, Emily Russel. So far this season, the striker has tallied 15 goals for her team, and she will likely put pressure on the Red’s defense. But the Red has a scoring threat of its own.

All season long, senior co-captain Emily Knight has found a way to put the Red on the board. Last weekend against Brown, her scores added up, as she tied the team’s single-season goal record at 11. Tonight, she wants to surpass that mark.

“I would definitely like to beat the record at this point,” the Scituate, Mass. native said. “I don’t know how I got all these goals, but I’d just like to beat it.”

How she will do that remains the question. Cornell has never played Buffalo, and the team does not know quite what to expect from its northern rivals.

“We don’t know anything about them right now,” said senior Lindsay Rovegno, “but we tend not to worry so much about the other team as ourselves.”

Despite the booters’ nonchalant attitude, the women know how important this game is to their season, and they’ve worked out some minor kinks in their offense to ensure a win.

“I always focus on performance goals, and we’ve eliminated some of the small mistakes we had against Brown,” said Andeberhan. “We’re ready for the next game.”

Archived article by Everett Hullverson