Spring break was no vacation for the women’s lacrosse team, as the Red dropped two games in Nashville, Tenn. to Vanderbilt and Ohio State before returning home to lose its first Ivy match-up of the season against Penn. The struggling Red squad, which has seen its 6-1 record at this point last season reversed, must look for answers with the top-ranked Princeton Tigers looming on the horizon.
In the Red’s 9-8 loss to No. 10 Vanderbilt last Sunday, Cornell’s defense clamped down on the Commodores’ three leading scorers, but the team could not pull off the upset. Although the score was tied at three separate points, including at 7-7 with 8:20 remaining, the Red proved unable to gain a lead. Vanderbilt (5-1, 1-0 American Lacrosse Conference) consistently frustrated the Red, forcing 15 turnovers on the day, and ultimately negated the career-highs of junior Kristen Smith, who tallied six points on five goals and an assist, and sophomore goalie Maggie Fava, who made12 saves. Head coach Jenny Graap ’86 found plenty of positives, though.
“We played some inspired lacrosse against Vanderbilt and our marquee players really stepped up,” she said. “Our team effort on defense also gave us some confidence going into the Ohio State game.”
After taking one day to recharge, the Red squared off against No. 18 Ohio State (3-4, 0-2 ALC) at the neutral Vanderbilt Sports Complex. Cornell’s brief 3-2 advantage early in the first half vanished as the Buckeyes went on a tear, enjoying a 10-5 halftime lead en route to a 14-11 victory.
However, individual bright spots shone for Cornell in defeat. Senior Jaime Quinn collected three goals and two assists, while sophomore Allison Schindler continued moving up the school’s all-time assist list. After tallying four assists against Ohio State and three more against Penn, she now has 41 and currently stands in sixth place in school history. In the end, Coach Graap credited Ohio State with earning the win by simply being the better team.
“Ultimately they were a little faster, a little more athletic and we just couldn’t pull it off,” she said. Saturday, the Red returned to a Schoellkopf Field veiled in thick, ominous fog for its first Ivy contest of the season.
Penn (5-3, 1-1 Ivy) netted a couple of easy goals early, but sophomore Lyndsay Robinson answered both times for Cornell to even it at 2-2 after 10 minutes. While Penn went on to dominate the rest of the first half, the home team began looking much sharper offensively immediately before and after halftime. After junior Lindsay Steinberg cut the Red’s deficit to 6-5 two and a half minutes into the second stanza, the Quakers reeled off four unanswered goals and never looked back. Penn punctuated its 13-7 victory with a goal at 59:59, capping another disappointing afternoon for the Red.
In addition to an underwhelming record so far this season, the team has also been coping with the recent tragic death of George Boiardi ’04, co-captain of Cornell’s men’s squad.
“The loss of George was traumatic and painful for the Cornell lacrosse family,” Graap said. “Right now we’re struggling on a lot of levels — our skills, our on-field communication — but we’re also emotionally trying to heal.”
Archived article by Dan Schiff
Sun Staff Writer