September 24, 2004

Women's Ivy Season Opens With Columbia

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Although it lost its first game of the season on Wednesday, the women’s soccer team enters tomorrow’s Ivy opener at Columbia (5-2, 0-0 Ivy) having given up just two goals all season. The Red (3-1-2, 0-0 Ivy) will face a Lions squad that is currently riding a five-game win streak, during which it has racked up five shutouts.

On Wednesday night, Bucknell only needed one quality scoring chance to clinch the game against Cornell, netting a goal in the sixth minute of play. The Bisons capitalized after winning a corner kick, as Krista Lee Gentile headed home a rebound after Meaghan Ferris’s initial shot went off the crossbar. The Red put the pressure on the Bucknell defense in the second half, but was unable to find the back of the net. Junior Kara Ishikawa nearly netted the equalizer in the 64th minute, but her shot rang off the crossbar. Despite the loss, head coach Berhane Andeberhan was very pleased with the team’s play.

“It was our best game, I was very pleased. The cruelty of soccer gets shown glaringly again. Our kids generated a lot of offense and we defended well. [Bucknell] scored one very good goal and we actually had a lot more scoring chances,” Andeberhan said.

Columbia opened its season with two one-goal losses at the UC Berkeley Invitational. Since then, the Lions have played more than seven hours of scoreless soccer, winning the Governor’s Cup last weekend in Albany by defeating Albany and Siena. Tournament Offensive MVP Shannon Munoz was named Ivy League Player of the Week, while Tournament Defensive MVP Cathleen Cimino was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week.

“[The competition] will be on the level of a Lafayette or a Stony Brook, those teams — a little bit up from Bucknell, although we lost to them. Because it’s an Ivy League game, there will be a little bit more emotional intensity,” Andeberhan said.

Munoz currently leads Columbia in scoring with three goals and three assists, while four other players have netted a goal this season. Senior Erissa Aronson and freshman Allison Vespa have been splitting time between the pipes this season, and both sport a goals against average under one.

Last year, Cornell defeated Columbia 3-0 in Ithaca in what Andeberhan described as “a straight-up game.”

“I feel we can play with anyone playing straight up in our league, and we can compete very well with anybody. We have shown that now for three years,” Andeberhan said.

“However, physically we’re a smaller team, and even if there was no differential in size, if we’re playing a possession game, the unfortunate rule of thumb is to then disrupt us with physical play.”

The booters have been working in practice to counteract this physical play so that it does not undermine their tactics during the game.

“[Yesterday] we worked on neutralizing [the physical play] and being more efficient with the ball,” Andeberhan said. “If you’re more efficient with the ball, there’s fewer 50-50 balls when we receive the ball and when we pass the ball, and there will be fewer opportunities to be hit.”

Archived article by Jonothan Auerbach