Despite the 0-0 on the scoreboard after 110 minutes of soccer, the women”s soccer team (0-0-1) still took away a lot of positives from its season opener against Stony Brook (1-1-1) on Sunday. The Red faced a surprise when it arrived at Stony Brook”s field, as the team was not informed that the match would be played on an artificial surface. This setback did not faze a Red lineup which featured four freshmen.
‘There was a little bit of nervousness obviously in the beginning of the game, but once we settled down, we played very well,’ said head coach Berhane Andeberhan. ‘We had a little bit of an edge in the first half, but it was relatively even. In the second half, we played very well, and in the overtime, we were parked in their half. We just couldn”t find a way to get the ball into the net.’
With the new personnel on the team, the Red has more flexibility in its tactics this season, and this was put into practice against the Seawolves. Junior Kara Ishikawa moved up to play behind the two strikers in the latter part of the second half and the overtime period, which generated a lot of scoring chances. Freshman Molly Easterlin was slotted at the left midfield/fullback position, where she provided defensive help, but was also able to attack.
Stony Brook did not rely on its midfield to set up attacking chances in the Cornell zone, instead preferring to settle the ball in the backfield and then it up to the Seawolves” quick forwards.
Sophomore goalie Katrina Matlin”s preparation in the offseason was evident during the game, as she made several excellent saves to keep the game scoreless.
‘There was one distance shot, bending toward the far post, and at the last moment, she just came flying in and flicked it out. She distributed well, she seemed very calm, and did a good job,’ Andeberhan said.
On the other side of the field, Stony Brook goalie Cindy Bennett continually stoned the Red”s scoring attempts, registering a total of 11 saves in the match.
‘[Stony Brook”s] goalkeeper was excellent. Somebody said she had been in the national program, and it shows. We were going to have a score a good goal, we weren”t going to get anything cheap, but we had some chances,’ said Andeberhan.
In all, eight freshmen saw playing time in the match. Many of the newcomers came to Cornell from very competitive teams and leagues, so they were able to adapt to the high-pressure environment of college soccer. The team”s defense is a very young group, but they were able to help register the clean sheet for Matlin.
‘[Freshman] Leslie Campbell, our sweeper, basically helped solidify our defense. Our defense played great, and she was an important part of it,’ Andeberhan said.
Archived article by Jonathan Auerbach
Sun Staff Writer