Midway through the season, the Red finds itself in familiar territory. Cornell has a 2-6 overall record and a 1-2 mark in Ivy League play — identical to last season’s record. The team has scored 14 goals this season compared to 10 last season but has allowed five more goals. In 2003, the Red fell apart in the second half of the season, winning one game and scoring only five goals. This year, the Red hopes history is not doomed to repeat itself.
“There is a big difference between last season and this one,” said senior co-captain Gina Testa. “Last year the team deteriorated as the season went on. This season we seem to get better with every game.”
The first half of the season has produced some outstanding individual results. Senior Danielle Dunn has been stellar. In her first three seasons at Cornell she totaled three points, this season she has 14 points including six goals. She was single-handedly responsible for the Red’s 2-1 victory over Yale, scoring both goals unassisted. For her efforts, she was named Tompkins Trust Co./Cornell Varsity Athlete of the Week and Ivy Field Hockey Player of the Week — the first Red player to earn that honor since 1999.
“The overall team dynamics are working really well this year,” Dunn said. “We’re getting the ball to our forwards well. We’ve been able to get more shots on goal and the coach has played an important role.”
Sophomore Lindsay Moyer has been an offensive force as well, tallying four goals and two assists. Remarkably, her four goals have come on just 11 shots. She had a tremendous opening weekend, scoring three goals and recording an assist. For her efforts, she too was named Tompkins Trust Co./Cornell Varsity Athlete of the Week back in September. Testa, classmate Sara Wiener and freshman Natalie Serle have also contributed to the surging Red offense.
“The fact that we’ve scored almost as many goals at the midpoint as we did all of last year has been a positive,” said head coach Donna Hornibrook. “Although, we have not gotten the results. I am definitely not pleased with that, but we’ve been really competitive. We’ve been knocking on the door but we haven’t learned how to win yet.”
The Red needs to become more consistent if it wants to salvage the second half of the season. This season the team is 0-3 on the road allowing 11 goals while scoring just four. With six of the next eight games on the road, saving the Red’s season will rest in curing its road woes.
“The team needs to understand that if they want to have a good showing and have the respect of other teams, they need to do well on the road,” Hornibrook said. “That will be the key to the rest of our season.”
Strong defense will also be essential for the Red to have any success in the second half. “Defensively, we have improved,” Hornibrook said. “But I’m not happy yet because we’ve given up way too many penalty corners. That shows that our tackling or positioning is not right, yet. We’ve shown some promise in that area but we need to get better.”
Despite the similarities with last season, the Red looks forward to the second half with hope.
“We are very optimistic,” Testa said. “We have four games left with Ivy League opponents. Every team in the league has at least one loss, some even two. Teams have been pulling upsets. We’re still in contention.”
Archived article by James Rich
Sun Staff Writer