One early goal from Bucknell was enough to give the women’s soccer team its first loss of the year.
The visiting Bisons came out pressuring right away, and they made good on their effort. After only five and half minutes, the Bisons’ were given a corner kick, and Bucknell’s Meaghan Ferris managed a header which hit off the crossbar. Freshman Krista Lee Gentile — a high school All-American — was in position for the rebound, and headed the ball in for the goal. Despite that early score, Bucknell (4-4-0, 0-1 Patriot) showed little offensive drive for most of the game. Cornell’s defense, which had only given up a single goal in five games, was able to consistently stop the Bisons’ forwards. Bucknell managed only three more shots — none particularly dangerous — for the rest of the contest.
But that one goal was all it took, as Cornell could not convert on its chances to score. After a somewhat defensive first half, the Red (3-1-2) dominated possession in the second half, consistently pushing the ball forward. However, the Bison’s defenders, along with sophomore goalie Katie Dry, would not give in.
The Red seemed on the verge of a tying goal in the middle part of the second half. The booters had two solid chances – both created when the Red’s midfielders were able to push the ball forward, and set up coordinated drives to the goal.
In the 64th minute, after some brilliant short passing, junior midfielder Kara Ishikawa was able to fire off a powerful shot which almost certainly would have beaten Dry. But the shot went just high, hitting the crossbar.
Then, with some more excellent short passing by freshman midfielder Mariye Wick and sophomore midfielder Whitney Hughes, Cornell seemed to again be in good position to score with 23 minutes remaining. Cornell was far into the Bisons’ territory, but the stingy Bucknell defense was able to clear the ball, and stop another Cornell effort.
The Red also had some scoring opportunities in the 74th and 75th minutes of the game, when Cornell was given two corner kicks. However, Bucknell was again able to clear.
The Red took 11 shots for the game, and Dye had four saves. Cornell’s senior goalkeeper Katie Thomas had one save.
Although the final score was not what the Red hoped for, a number of Cornell players played very solidly — something that should bode well for the Red when Ivy play begins on Sunday. Ishikawa and freshman Kara Lewis were both strong on the offensive end – especially in the second half when the speedy Ishikawa worked as catalyst to drive the ball out of the midfield. Lewis – who scored the game winner in last Friday’s match against St. Bonaventure – made her presence known among the Bison’s defenders, leading a few drives, and showing showed why she can play both midfielder and forward. On the defensive side, senior Natalie Dew anchored the young Red defense, and she managed to start a number of offensive drives from the midfield.
The Red will open Ivy League play Sunday at Columbia. The booters defeated the Lions last year, 3-0, in Ithaca.
Archived article by Ted Nyman
Sun Staff Writer