Scoreless ties in soccer are the ultimate stalemate, and for the women’s soccer team, they are becoming very familiar, as the Red (1-0-2, 0-0 Ivy) played to a double-overtime draw against Binghamton (3-1-1) last night on the pitch of Berman Field. All three of Cornell’s games this season have gone to overtime, with the Red recording its first scoreless tie in the season opener against Stony Brook.
With two of the booters’ forwards hampered by injury, freshmen Dani Haigh and Jackie Stromberg started up top, and classmate Tracy Wooster also saw playing time in the second half.
“We need to get healthy, but I’m not using that as an excuse,” said head coach Berhane Andeberhan. “We need to teach [Dani and Jackie] a few things tactically, but their skill and effort was tremendous, and Tracy too, all three freshmen. It’s very hard to do it with freshmen, but these kids are wonderful.”
While Cornell dominated possession in the first half, Binghamton’s Danielle White had the best scoring chance when her shot from the right side of the goal dribbled just wide of the left post late in the half. After the break, the Red adjusted its formation due to the extra players Binghamton kept back on defense, bringing up an extra forward. The Bearcats responded with several scoring chances in the opening minutes of the second half.
“We tried to get into an offensive set, but the girls did not have time to practice it much,” Andeberhan said. “We wanted to go into a 4-3-3, but our forwards didn’t know when they needed to help out at midfield, so once we went back to a 4-4-2, we settled down.”
The Red’s defense shut down the Bearcat forwards in the second half, making quick clears whenever Binghamton tried to move the ball up the side.
Freshman sweeper Leslie Campbell made the biggest defensive stop for Cornell with five minutes to play in regulation. Binghamton’s Kelly Burnham brought the ball up the right side on a breakaway, and Campbell sprinted in out of nowhere, breaking up the play with a slide tackle.
“[Leslie]’s a pro, she is not a freshman,” Andeberhan said. “The referees at the last game wouldn’t believe me when I told them she was a freshman. She is very calm, very steady. She just doesn’t make any wrong decisions. We’re very fortunate to have her.”
Cornell had several good scoring chances in the two overtime periods, but Bearcat goalie Kristie Bowers literally saved the game for Binghamton in the 105th minute. Freshman Kelly Kosco took a hard shot from the middle of the box that was heading for the back of the net, but Bowers made a diving save in the air to preserve the tie.
With nearly a half of sudden-death play under their belts, the booters will be more prepared for the tough games they will face against their conference foes later in the season.
“The kids already know that they have the fitness. In terms of fitness and tenacity, it’s amazing. Since I’ve been here, we’ve never had a kid with this kind of tenacious play,” Andeberhan said. “There were a few times when we made a bad mistake, where in the past, it might have have broken our backs, but we just kept playing, I’m very pleased with that. If you know you have the energy, then you can just keep going.”
Archived article by Jonathan Auerbach
Sun Staff Writer