After graduating the winningest class in program history, the women’s lacrosse team looks to pick up where it left off last season by securing a trip to its sixth straight postseason tournament. Six seniors graduated last May, while 10 freshmen joined the team in the fall, making the team one of the youngest in head coach Jenny Graap’s ’86 seven-year term at Cornell. In spite of the exodus, the Red returns six starters from a year ago, including the team’s senior co-captains Jaime Quinn and Kate Hirschfield.
Although Sarah Averson ’03 — the team’s leading scorer in 2003 — is gone, the trio of Quinn, junior Lindsay Steinberg, and sophomore Allison Schindler looks to lead the Red on offense once again. Quinn is coming off a season in which she was hampered by injury, but still managed to net 29 goals, good for third on the team.
“I think offensively, we’re definitely looking for Jaime Quinn to take advantage of her height. At 5-11, she’s the biggest kid out there on the field. Jaime’s really good at catching balls in tight to the crease, and firing it in for the goal,” Graap said.
While Quinn scores a lot of her goals off the set-up, Steinberg is more of a one-on-one type of player. With her powerful shot and good field vision, she is able to go to the goal to score or shoot from the perimeter. Last season, Steinberg had a breakout year, and was the team’s second-leading scorer with 36 goals and five assists.
After breaking into the lineup early last season, Schindler became the team’s set-up feeder, leading the Red in assists with 28, breaking the program’s single-season assist record in the process.
The Red midfield returns several key players from last season as well. Hirschfield, who missed six games last year due to injury, looks to contribute on attack and bring good speed to the position. Juniors Julia Hughey and Kristen Smith return as well for Cornell at midfield. Hughey made great strides last season as a starter, and was fourth on the team in ground balls, with 41. Smith is a key player in the Red’s transition game and a potent threat on offense, having scored 14 goals in 2003.
Sophomore Lyndsay Robinson, who was a key reserve last season as a freshman, has started in the first two games of the season and is developing into an impact player.
“[Lyndsay] was probably the standout player against Georgetown. She scored our first goal and had a lot of nice defensive plays. I’ve been really impressed with her. I think she’s really coming along tremendously,” Graap commented.
With only one returning starter, the defense is inexperienced but will develop into a cohesive unit as the season progresses. Junior Annie Berkery, who started 13 games last year on defense, will be joined by classmate Danielle Friedman in the back.
“Annie was a tremendous player for us last year as a sophomore. She didn’t really didn’t see much time as a freshman, but she really stepped up as a sophomore, and now she’s a real leader as a junior,” Graap said.
Sophomore Rachel Spoonhower moves from midfield to defense this season, where her physical play will be an asset to the defensive unit.
Sophomore Maggie Fava will be the team’s staring goalkeeper this season, having seen playing time in eight contests in 2003. She made seven saves in her first collegiate start against Hofstra, and stopped 10 in the Red’s first win of the season against Rutgers.
“[Maggie’s] someone who really understands the fundamentals of the position