As the fall season winds down, the women’s soccer team will head to Hanover, N.H. to play its final game against Dartmouth on Sunday. A win would end the team’s year on a high note and give the booters a winning record. But for the eight seniors on the team who have played since arriving here four years ago, the game means far more: the end of a career.
“We’re all really excited, and I think we have a good chance to win,” said senior Jo Galardy, “but it will be sad knowing that we’ve played for so long and now its over.”
Head coach Berhane Andeberhan, who arrived at Cornell to coach when this year’s seniors matriculated, holds a special place in his heart for the class.
“We came here at the same time. I hadn’t recruited them. I didn’t know them at all,” he said. “But since we’ve been together, things have been phenomenal. We’ve gone from a rather weak team to a good one. They deserve to be proud of their accomplishments.”
A win this weekend would serve as an appropriate finale to the seniors’ illustrious careers, and the Red is ready to do all it can to deliver a victory.
“Dartmouth is a great team, and we’re looking forward to playing them,” said Andeberhan. “Some teams are just good, but we don’t want to play them. Dartmouth plays good soccer and they’ll be a challenge, but we’ll have a good game.”
Cornell and the Green play with similar styles, focusing heavily on passing and technique as opposed to physical contact. As a result, the game should be fast-paced with lots of action around midfield but little scoring. One goal might mean the difference between a great day and a long bus ride home.
For junior goalie Katie Thomas, that means a pressure situation, but the netminder feels that she and the team are well prepared.
“Dartmouth plays a similar style, and that’s good,” she said. “We’re fully confident that we can win the game and end the season on a high note.”
Confidence alone will not save the day, however, and the Red will have to overcome an extremely good Dartmouth team to win. The Green enters this weekend’s match-up on a nine game winning streak, and the team has a 5-0-1 Ivy League record. Junior Anne Marbarger, who has an .819 save percentage and three shutouts this year, has had an outstanding season in goal, while senior Lea Kiefer leads the team offensively with 10 scores.
Statistics aside, Andeberhan believes his team’s ability and its determination to send the seniors off with one last hurrah will prevail.
“We’ve been competitive in a lot of games and we’ve improved so much this season,” he concluded. “We were missing technique earlier, especially in the midfield, but now we’re good defensively, offensively, and in the middle. We know we can win.”
Archived article by Everett Hullverson