From freshman injuries to the NCAA Final Four as sophomores to a disappointing losing season as seniors, two graduating Red players have seen it all in their four years on the hill. Head coach Jenny Graap ’86 fully understands the skill and leadership she is losing in midfielder Kate Hirschfield and attacker/midfielder Jaime Quinn.
“They’re both outstanding young women,” Graap said of her co-captains. “They’re getting ready to graduate and go on to really do some impressive things with their lives because they’ve already shown such strong character.”
“It’s been unfortunate through the years because I’ve lost some of my best friends,” said Hirschfield. “We came in behind a class of girls that had been playing immediately as soon as they arrived at Cornell. As freshmen, we had to work a lot harder to break into the lineup.”
Hirschfield made her first impact as a freshman, notching two goals and two assists in an 11-7 win at Yale. Since then, injuries have often limited her playing time, but she is finally enjoying a healthy season and eyeing a career milestone. With four ground balls against Colgate this coming Saturday, Hirschfield can become the tenth Cornell player to reach 100. For the player affectionately nicknamed “Ice” for her favorite post-game accessory, just being able to play her final game will be enough.
“I can’t imagine my life without sports,” she said. “I’ve had five knee surgeries now, but the feeling when you actually get back on the field makes it all worth it.”
Quinn is seeking a spot in the Cornell record books as well: by winning five draw controls against the Red Raiders, she can take sole position of third all-time. At 5-11, Jammer (Quinn’s nickname bestowed upon her by Hirschfield) has used her height for both draw controls and handling high feeds from teammates. This physical advantage helped garner Quinn the Ivy Offensive Player of the Week honor following big performances against Syracuse and Harvard. She regards last week’s quadruple-overtime upset of the Orange, in which she netted four goals, as the pinnacle of her career.
“Before that game I probably would’ve said going to the Final Four and playing in an overtime game in the semifinals against Georgetown [was my most memorable experience],” Quinn said. “But the game against Syracuse was unbelievable, one of the most amazing games I’ ve ever played in.”
Hirschfield, a Policy Analysis and Management major, plans to work in marketing and sales for the summer, while Quinn, a Nutrition, Food and Agriculture major, hopes to attend graduate school for physical therapy. With her 2004 graduates moving on, Graap will need others to fill the gaps. “I hope the younger women on the team have learned,” she said, “but I definitely know there are those on the team right now that are not working nearly as hard as they need to or as hard as Kate and Jaime have.”
Archived article by Dan Schiff
Sun Staff Writer