When the women’s lacrosse team began this season, it was a young, inexperienced squad, but still ranked 12th in the nation. After struggling to find its stride early in the season, and then suffering a number of close losses to top-ranked teams recently, Cornell (1-8, 0-3 Ivy) now finds itself unranked and looking to battle its way back into the pack of elite teams.
“From what I saw in the beginning of the year in February and March, this is a much better team now,” said head coach Jenny Graap ’86.
On Friday, Cornell faced the current 12th-ranked team, Dartmouth (6-2, 4-0 Ivy). With one of Dartmouth’s top players, Katieanne Christian, not suiting up for the game, the Red took advantage, scoring the first four goals of the game. However, the Green turned its play around late in the first half. An at-the-buzzer goal at the end of the half told the story of a very frustrating loss for the Red, as Dartmouth went on to win, 7-6.
“Every game we’re trying to prove ourselves,” Graap said. “What I’ve seen from Princeton and from Dartmouth today, is that we can play with [the top teams].”
The beginning of the game was the Jaime Quinn and Kristin Smith show, as the two managed a pair of goals a piece to give the Red a 4-0 lead. Sophomore goaltender Maggie Fava gave her team a great deal of help, stopping the Green’s first four shots of the game to maintain the early shutout. The Green did not get onto the board until 21:29 into the first half, when senior Lana Smith cut the Dartmouth deficit to three goals on a free position shot. Then, with only seconds to go in the first half, Dartmouth’s Molly Jenkins grabbed a loose ball in front of Fava and scored as the clock hit zero.
“We made some crucial errors, like giving up the goal with a second left in the first half,” Graap said. “It was a ground ball in front of the goal, and our defender had it, but they just picked it up and scored.”
The goal at the buzzer was the turning point of the match, as the Green fought its way back in the second half. Dartmouth scored a quick goal only 20 seconds in to bring the team within one goal. Under three minutes in, Cornell freshman Lindsey Moore drove in from the left side and scored while diving through the crease to give the Red back its two-goal advantage.
The Green responded quickly, however. Sophomore Casey Hazel scored two goals in the span of 20 seconds to tie the game for the first time at 5-5. Smith picked up the hat trick with her third goal at 25:01 to put the Red back in front, but it turned out to be the Red’s last goal of the game. The Green scored goals on two free-position shots to put Dartmouth ahead, 7-6, for the win. “Hopefully, this Easter weekend, we take some days off and rejuvenate,” Graap said.
Archived article by Michael Pandolfini
Sun Staff Writer