The women’s soccer team wants to move up the Ivy League standings this year. If the opening weekend of play is any indication, Cornell should be ready for some tough competition.
Princeton began their 2004 season on Friday, with an impressive 2-1 win over a very strong Texas A&M team.
The Aggies — who entered the game ranked fifth in the nation — managed only one shot in the first half of the contest, and were unable to overcome the Tiger’s two early goals in a hard-fought second half. Princeton’s Esmeralda Negron, a 2003 All-American, and last year’s Ivy League Player of the Year, had a goal and an assist in the win.
After their impressive showing, the Tigers entered the NSCAA/adidas national rankings at No. 20.
Last year’s Ivy champion, Dartmouth, was also in action this past weekend, at the Hoya Classic at Georgetown University.
The Green managed a 2-1 win against Georgetown on Friday, and then tied George Washington 1-1 on Sunday. With two returning first-team All-Ivy selections, including senior goalkeeper Anne Marbarger, Dartmouth will have a fair chance to defend its Ivy League title. Harvard took on two of nation’s top teams this past weekend, at the UConn/adidas Classic.
The Crimson, who finished 6-5-5 overall last year, were close in both matches, but fell just short in a 1-0 defeat to Penn State, and a 3-2 loss to the University of Portland.
Despite the losses, Harvard’s strong play against top competition should give an early indication of the team’s level of talent. Harvard returns four 2003 honorable mention All-Ivy players this year.
Yale and Brown opened their seasons against decidedly easier opponents, and both the Elis and Bears came away undefeated for the weekend. UMass and Manhattan proved little of a challenge for Yale, while Brown had no trouble defeating Sacred Heart and George Mason.
Yale, who defeated Cornell last year in a double-overtime match, returns four of its top five scorers this year, including All-Ivy sophomore Christina Huang.
Meanwhile, an improving Brown squad, featuring 2003 Ivy League Rookie of the Year Kathryn Moos, will look to make inroads at the top of the conference.
Penn returns 10 seniors, including three-time All-Ivy selection Katy Cross. Cross, the 2002 Ivy League Player of the Year, has been one of the most consistent performers in the conference. Last year, she led the Ancient Eight in both points scored and goals. With a strong offensive attack, Penn may prove a tough challenge for the top Ivy teams.
Like Cornell, Columbia also has aspirations of moving up the conference ladder. The Lions had a tough start last season, going 2-6-1, before ending the year strong, with a 4-2-2 finish. Columbia will be Cornell’s first Ivy opponent, when the teams meet Sept. 25 in New York City.
Archived article by Ted Nyman
Sun Staff Writer