The Red’s best wasn’t enough to stop the roaring Princeton offense yesterday afternoon. Princeton shut out the field hockey team, 3-0, to notch its second Ivy victory of the weekend and remind the league that it is still the 10-time defending champion. The Red put up a stronger fight than Brown, which was routed 6-0 by the Tigers, but still couldn’t manage to crack the Princeton defense.
“The team played the best they’ve played in two weeks,” said head coach Donna Hornibrook. “The team competed well. We’re disappointed we didn’t get the results.”
The Red played a strong first half, executing its transition game well and making several strong runs up the left side of the field. With 22 minutes gone in the contest, a shot by a Princeton player rebounded off the crossbar of the goal. In the scramble to clear the ball, Princeton junior Ali Shames-Dawson got a shot off that made it past Cornell goalkeeper Lori Blutinger to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead going into halftime.
“We definitely did a reasonable job in the midfield and backfield,” Hornibrook said. “We moved the ball up the field well, but struggled in the offensive third.”
Princeton made a strong case for an Ivy League title in the second half.
“Princeton has a lot of firepower,” Hornibrook said. “We adjusted our marking to accommodate Princeton’s four forwards. We worked on transition so we didn’t get caught in the back.”
The Tigers out-shot the Red, 11-1, in the second half and earned 12 total penalty corners to Cornell’s one. Senior Lauren Quinn added to Princeton’s lead at the 40-minute mark, beating the defense on the right baseline and drawing Blutinger out to score her second unassisted goal in two days.
The final Princeton goal came on a penalty corner setup, when senior Natalie Martirosian converted a pass from freshman Paige Schmidt.
“The defense worked the ball out well,” Hornibrook said. “We’ve had a lot of trouble with that. We did a good job defensively, but we need more pressure [on offense].”
The Red got off only three shots in the entire game. Princeton goalkeeper sophomore Allison Nemeth earned her second shutout of the weekend without having to make a save.
“We had some good rushes,” Hornibrook said of the Red’s offense. “We need more pressure in the circle. We got entries into the circle, but no shots and no penalty corners.”
The Tigers, 5-8 overall, improved to 3-1 in the Ivy League. With the regular season drawing to a close, Princeton will face undefeated Harvard next weekend with a shot at an 11th consecutive championship on the line. Cornell drops to 2-9 (1-3 Ivy) after this weekend’s match.
Despite the final score, Hornibrook felt that the Red made progress towards playing as a unit on both ends of the field.
“The team feels like they’re not satisfied,” she said, “but they realize Princeton is a good team and we played well against them. The team competed well, definitely.”
Archived article by Olivia Dwyer
Sun Staff Writer