The return of junior forward Shannon Fraser helped energize the Red offense, but Buffalo’s stingy goalkeeping helped spoil the women’s soccer team’s day. Despite one of Cornell’s best offensive efforts of the year, the home-team Bulls were able to narrowly earn the 2-1 win.
“It’s just simply unlucky we lost the game,” said head coach Berhane Andeberhan.
Fraser — the 2002 team MVP — has battled a hamstring injury for much of this season, and she had not played since Cornell (4-9-2, 1-4-0 Ivy) met Harvard Oct. 9. Yesterday, she took five shots, and provided some spark for a Red offense that took 19 shots on the day.
But only one of those shots found the net. Early in the first half, senior forward Emily Wyffels took the ball from the Buffalo defense, and then scored the first goal of her collegiate career.
“It was a great goal,” Andeberhan said. “She calmly put the shot between the goalkeeper and the post.”The two veteran forwards combined for nine shots on the day.
“Shannon and Emily played amazing games,” Andeberhan said.However, Buffalo’s (7-11-1, 5-6-1 MAC) frontline also played well. In the 31st minute, junior Natalia Crofut scored the equalizer off a direct kick, firing a shot into the upper right corner of the Cornell net. Crofut had five shots for the game.
“She was their best player in my opinion,” Andeberhan said. “[The shot] was unstoppable in that spot.”
Despite the tough goal, senior keeper Katie Thomas earned a season-high eight saves for the Red.
The teams went into halftime tied, but Buffalo earned the golden goal in the 53rd minute. It was the only goal of the half, as Buffalo keeper Anna-Lesa Calvert was able to stop Cornell’s offensive charge.
In the second half, senior defender Natalie Dew fired an excellent shot from 25 yards out. But Calvert made a diving save inside the left crossbar. Dew had three shots for the game.
“It was just a great shot, and the keeper made a great save,” Andeberhan said.
Calvert was recently named Mid-American Conference player of the week, after recording 39 saves over a four-game period.
Cornell had another solid chance to score with 12 minutes remaining in the game.
Sophomore midfielder Whitney Hughes headed the ball off the crossbar, but the Buffalo defense was then able to clear. Hughes tied Fraser for a game-high five shots.
The Red will return to action Friday night, when the squad welcomes nationally ranked Princeton to Berman Field. The No. 8 Tigers are 12-1-0 overall, and 5-0-0 in the Ivy League.
Archived article by Ted Nyman
Sun Staff Writer