While many Cornellians sought refuge from the downpour on Friday night, the women”s soccer team battled the elements and defeated St. Bonaventure, 2-1, under the lights of Berman Field. The Red (3-0-2, 0-0 Ivy) welcomed the sunnier weather in Ithaca yesterday morning, as it wrapped up the weekend with a 2-0 win over Robert Morris (0-4-1).
Friday night”s game saw the end of the booters” shutout skein, as the team allowed its first goal of the season after 400 minutes of scoreless soccer. After scoring only one goal in its first three games of the season, Cornell”s offense came to life over the weekend, netting four goals and taking 50 shots.
The Red dominated possession during the first half against the Bonnies (6-2), but was unable to find the back of the net.
‘We were trying to solve the scoring problem, so we were hoping to get more quality chances on the goal. We felt against Binghamton that we had chances, but just not the kind that were going to result in a goal,’ said assistant coach Gretchen Zigante.
In the second half, the Red made some adjustments to its formation, moving junior Kara Ishikawa up from midfield to play behind the forwards, and shifting senior Natalie Dew up to play as a defensive center midfielder.
The Red ended the scoring impasse in the 57th minute, as sophomore Caitlin Oliver collected a rebound from five yards out, and shot the ball towards the top of the left post for her first career collegiate goal.
In the 69th minute, freshman Molly Easterlin served a shot toward the goal from the far right side. With the ball heading wide of the left post, classmate Kara Lewis redirected the shot past St. Bonaventure goalie Lisa Eberhart to notch her first collegiate goal as well.
The rain grew heavy at times throughout the match, but both teams played through it, and the field conditions did not have much of an impact on the game.
‘You just focus on the game, you try to ignore the rain. This field plays really well whether it”s pouring down rain or not. It was still a good soccer game,’ Zigante said.
While the rain had little effect on the players” footing, the wet ball proved to be a problem for both Eberhart and Cornell goalie Katie Thomas. With six minutes left in regulation, Thomas saved a St. Bonaventure shot from the right side, but Jacquee Boyle knocked in the rebound to cut the Red”s lead to one. Kerry O”Malley nearly notched the equalizer for the Bonnies with 15 seconds left, as her shot from the right side banged off the top of the crossbar.
With the rain subsiding on Saturday, the Red had markedly better weather for its match against Robert Morris.
‘When we played Friday, we lost a bit of our game in the second half. [Yesterday,] we wanted to stay focused the whole game and be able to possess the ball and do our short passing a lot more,’ Zigante said. ‘In the second half, that was our big focus to try to accomplish that, and it resulted in a lot of shots on goal.’
The Red started its scoring early, as Ishikawa notched her second tally of the season in the 21st minute. After winning a corner, the ensuing kick drew out Robert Morris goalie Irene Petrou, and the ball ricocheted off several players before Ishikawa got a handle on it. She tried to knock the ball in the open net, but a Robert Morris defender blocked her initial shot. Fortunately for the Red, Ishikawa was able to collect her own rebound and connected on her second shot.
With the Colonials pressing late in the second half, the Red put the game away with 10 minutes left in regulation. Freshman Jackie Stromberg recovered the ball outside the Robert Morris box, and fed it ahead to Oliver, who had an open look at net. Oliver did not waste her scoring chance, as she buried the ball in the right side of the net for her second goal of the season.
Sophomore Katrina Matlin started in goal for the Red, but only had to make one save to earn her third shutout in as many games this season.
Archived article by Jonathan Auerbach
Sun Staff Writer