In its first 206 minutes of play this season, the women”s soccer team had yet to fish the ball out of its own net, putting up two shutouts against Stony Brook and Lafayette. The Red (1-0-1, 0-0 Ivy) hopes to maintain its excellent defensive play when it welcomes Binghamton (3-1) to Berman Field tonight at 7 p.m. for the team”s home opener.
The Red notched its first goal of the season against Lafayette on Sunday when junior Kara Ishikawa scored from 18 yards out after a failed clear attempt by the Leopard defense in overtime. Cornell senior Katie Thomas saw her first action of the season in goal, recording her 11th career shutout. The game was a physical one, with 23 fouls called between the two teams.
‘In our games, I think we”ll continue to face this, because of our style of play and unfortunately because of the state of college soccer,’ said head coach Berhane Andeberhan. ‘It”s just really rough play and very physical, and our kids handled it very well. We kept our composure and kept playing.’
While the booters did not score in regulation during their first two games, the team has generated numerous scoring chances thanks to a new offensive scheme. This tactic, dubbed the ‘Ishikawa offense’ by Andeberhan, was implemented against Lafayette with excellent results, as Ishikawa moved up from the midfield to play behind the two strikers.
‘Once we got into the overtime, we said, “Let”s go for the win. It might backfire on us, but let”s go for it.” Immediately, we started creating a lot of scoring chances, and then of course [Ishikawa] scores. It was a very exciting finish,’ Andeberhan said.
Binghamton comes to Ithaca after knocking off Lehigh in its home opener on Friday 1-0. Freshman Kim Povill leads the team in scoring with two goals and one assist, while sophomore goalie Kristie Bowers has recorded a 1.25 goals against average in four games for the Bearcats.
‘We haven”t played [Binghamton] in a couple of years,’ Andeberhan said. ‘They had a close game against St. Bonaventure recently, so that”s kind of a common factor we have, as we did fairly well against St. Bonaventure last year. It should be fun to be home.’
While the team graduated three key defenders from last year”s team, the Red”s newcomers in the back have made the transition to the college game smoothly, and the use of team defense has proved successful so far this season.
‘We want our goalkeeper to start our offense, and we want our forwards to start our defense. Our forwards start our defending; they may not necessarily win the ball, but they put pressure on the other team,’ Andeberhan said. ‘Whatever the other team does to advance the ball, it”s under pressure, which means our midfield can pick it up.’
Archived article by Jonathan Auerbach
Sun Staff Writer