The Red hopes of winning an Ivy League title may be fading, but the team is not giving up on the season just yet.
“It is not important at all to equal last year’s win total,” said head coach Donna Hornibrook. “We’re not trying to set a goal or limit ourselves. We have five games left and we want to win as many as possible.”
Cornell has notched two victories so far this season and with two away games this weekend, the Red has a chance to equal and surpass last year’s total of three victories. The road trip kicks off tomorrow when the Red take on Brown in Providence, R.I. and then continues on Sunday, in Storrs, Conn., where the Red will battle 7th-ranked UConn.
Brown has been up and down this season garnering a 4-8 record to this point. In recent play, the Bears have been knocked around losing to Providence, 6-0, and Princeton, 5-1. The team features a balanced attack with 12 players having recorded at least one offensive point. However in Ivy League play, Brown has scored the fewest number of goals and has tallied a league-low 11 points.
On defense, the Bears have allowed the second most goals in the Ivy League. Freshman goalie Kristen Hodavance has the dubious honor of leading the league in saves while having the second worst goals against average, giving up an average of three goals a game.
“Brown will be a good indication of how much progress we’ve made,” Hornibrook said. “The last five games we have played some tough opponents — Syracuse and Harvard are ranked, Princeton is the perennial Ivy League champion, and Providence just beat off Syracuse. We will be evenly matched against Brown and we can see how much progress we’ve made this season.”
On Sunday, the Red will be tested against UConn. The 7th-ranked Huskies are 14-1 this season and are coming off a 6-0 victory over Rutgers and 1-0 loss to 9th-ranked Northeastern. If the Red has any hope of winning, it will need to stop the offensive juggernaut. The Huskies lead the Big East in total goals scored, 65, and assists, 43.
Leading the Husky attack is senior Lauren Henderson. Henderson, an all-American and 2003 Big East offensive player of the year, leads the conference with 22 goals and is second in total points.
Defensively, Connecticut is equally intimidating. Junior goalie Melissa Bostwick is responsible for much of the squad’s success defensively. She leads the Big East with a 0.58 GAA and has eight shutouts.
“Connecticut is a strong team,” Hornibrook said. “We are going in with the mindset of competing well and not focusing so much on the result. We want to battle for 70 minutes, see how we do, and learn.”
In recent weeks, the Red has been stymied offensively, scoring one goal in the past five games. The team has not lost faith and hopes to rediscover its lost touch.
“The kids want to get better,” Hornibrook said. “Moral is high but there has been some frustration. Confidence in the attack is not as high. We had good rushes against Princeton but we didn’t score. After the team saw the video, they felt better and this week we worked hard on our attack.”
Archived article by James Rich
Sun Staff Writer