September 27, 2004

Stickwomen Claim First League Win

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Schoellkopf Field was lucky all day Saturday, with more than one Cornell team beating Yale on the turf.

The field hockey team fought off Yale to earn a 2-1 victory Saturday night, ending a four-game losing streak and improving to 2-4 (1-2 Ivy). “I was so relieved we finally got over the losing streak,” said senior Danielle Dunn. “It’s a great thing to finally win.”

Dunn led the way for the Red, scoring two unassisted goals in the second half for the team’s second win of the season.

The Red started off slow, with Yale dominating the action in the first half.

“We were ready to play, but we started slow,” said junior co-captain Blair Corcoran. “For the first five to 10 minutes we were watching to see what they would do.”

But the Red quickly came alive, with the defense showing a stellar effort to keep the game scoreless heading into halftime. Senior Lori Blutinger notched four saves in goal to anchor the defense. Despite seven penalty corners, the Elis could not get past Blutinger. The Red struggled to crack the Yale defense, failing to get off any shots on goal in the first half.

“In the first half we were a little slow getting started,” Dunn said. “We weren’t connecting with passes and everyone was back on their heels. The defense did an awesome job and Lori [Blutinger] was crucial.”

The Red came together as a unit towards the end of the first half, moving the ball better and starting to work around the Elis.

“In the second half we put it in high gear and we were more intense,” Dunn said. “We were communicating better and making better passes. We had a quicker transition from defense to offense.”

The Red carried its momentum from the end of the first half into the final period, with Dunn breaking the tie barely three minutes into the second half with her fourth goal of the season.

“We were just working the ball up the right side better,” Dunn said of her first goal. “I was getting more free shots in the circle.”

But Yale wouldn’t go down without a fight, as the Elis continued to outshoot the Red as the half continued. Blutinger continued to come up big for the Red, ending the game with nine saves.

Dunn scored her second unassisted goal just before the 53-minute mark, nailing a shot just inside the right post and past junior goalie Kate Crandall to give the Red a 2-0 lead.

Yale refused to give up, constantly applying pressure to the Cornell defense. With four minutes left to play, freshman Harriet Thayer put Yale on the board, sneaking a shot past Blutinger from five yards out on the left side.

The Red stepped up on defense, determined to pull out the win.

“We tightend up our marking and closed up our holes,” Corcoran said. “Everyone was really doing what they were supposed to do.”

Yale pulled its goalie with three minutes left and put 11 players on the field in an attempt to score a tying goal. But despite outshooting the Red 15-6, the Elis could not crack Cornell’s defense.

“We just all thought, ‘They are not scoring again, we have to hold them here,'” Dunn said. “Defense did an awesome job. Everyone was going for 50-50 balls.” When the final whistle blew, the Red almost couldn’t believe its hard work and intense practices had finally paid off.

“I didn’t realize it was over at first,” Corcoran said. “I thought [the referee] was going to call a penalty corner. We were so relieved. I was like ‘Whoo!'”

Archived article by Olivia Dwyer
Sun Staff Writer