April 26, 2004

Women's Lax Falls to No. 14 Yale

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A late rally was not enough for the women’s lacrosse team, as it fell to No. 14 Yale, 11-8, on Saturday at Schoellkopf Field. The Red (3-9, 2-4 Ivy) was unable to clamp down on all of Yale’s offensive weapons, as the Bulldogs (12-4, 5-2 Ivy) went on a 4-0 run 15 minutes into the second half to pull away.

“I think in general, we had a lull in the second half there where in a matter of four minutes, [Yale] scored four goals. That lull ultimately cost us the game because they got enough cushion where they could start stalling and slowing things down, and then the clock worked against us,” said head coach Jenny Graap ’86.

Cornell got on the board first thanks to a great effort by senior co-captain Kate Hirschfield. Double-teamed to the right of the goal, Hirschfield lost both defenders and put the ball home on an open look. Junior Lindsay Steinberg made it 2-0 after firing a fast shot from the top of the arc at 8:26.

Yale struck back two minutes later, as Katherine Sargent scored after getting the feed from Lyndsay Levin off of a free position shot. Miles Whitman, one of the fastest players in the nation, demonstrated her speed early, as she outran the Cornell defense after a restart to score her first of three goals in the game.

The Red did a good job of shutting down the Yale offense early, limiting the Elis to two goals in the first 20 minutes of the game.

“In the beginning of the game, we had some really good strategy defensively. We were marking their leading scorer, Miles Whitman, really closely, and that may have taken Yale a little bit of time to regroup and reorganize and try to figure things out,” Graap said.

The task of marking Whitman throughout the game fell to freshman Anne Riordan, the Red’s fastest player. Riordan excelled in guarding her mark and put forth her best effort of the year, according to Graap.

“[Whitman] was really fast and quick, though when I got on her after a while, she just stopped moving. We were sort of spectators for a lot of it,” Riordan said.

After junior Kristen Smith scored two straight to give the Red a 4-2 lead, Yale’s Sarah Driscoll responded with two goals of her own to even the game at four all with six minutes to play in the half. Driscoll’s second tally came after she knocked the ball out of sophomore goalie Maggie Fava’s stick. The Bulldogs took their first lead of the game at 25:47 of the first half on a goal by Sophie Melniker.

Sargent extended Yale’s lead at the start of the second half, but freshman Margaux Viola closed the gap for Cornell after she scored on a wraparound six minutes into the half. Unfortunately for the Red, it would not score another goal for another 10 minutes, as four different Yale players scored in four minutes to put the Bulldogs up, 10-5.

The Red rallied back, as senior co-captain Jaime Quinn started a 3-0 run with 13 minutes left in the game. Smith and Hirschfield both added goals on free position shots to close the gap to two. But that would be as close as Cornell would get, as Yale successfully ran out the clock. Whitman added another tally in the closing seconds of the game to give Yale the 11-8 win.

Cornell’s offense was dominated by solo efforts during the game, as all but one the team’s eight goals came unassisted.

“That’s kind of unusual for us to have so few assisted goals. Some of it was that they face-guarded [sophomore] Allison Schindler, who’s normally our assister, and it took her out of the game a little bit,” Graap said. “I think that we weren’t necessarily looking for so many feeds in the second half, we were looking more for the solo drive.”

Yale finished the game with 41 shots to Cornell’s 19, while Fava recorded a career-high 14 saves in goal.

“Our defense was really doing a great job in forcing them to take some bad shots and off-angle shots, and though they ripped a lot of shots, they were missing high, missing wide,” Graap said. “When it came down to it, they were a taller team than we were, they were a little bit faster than we were, and some of those things ultimately play into the outcome.”

Archived article by Jonathan Auerbach
Sun Staff Writer