It may have been a cold Sunday in Ithaca, but the women’s lacrosse team still managed to start its season off hot. Helped by a dominating first half performance, Cornell earned an impressive 11-8 upset win over No. 20 Notre Dame at Schoellkopf Field.
Sophomore Margaux Viola led the way with three goals and two assists, and four others Red players added two goals each. Cornell played a very strong game in the midfield, and the team was consistently able to push the ball into Notre Dame’s zone.
“We connected on everything we needed to,” Viola said. “We were all on the same page.”
With the win, the Red improved to 7-1 in season openers under head coach Jenny Graap ’86. Cornell (1-0) began the scoring less than five minutes into the game, when sophomore Lindsey Moore found the net. Notre Dame (1-2) replied soon after, tying the game 1-1. Moore put Cornell back on top just seconds later, when she netted the 14th goal of her collegiate career.
Two of the Red’s newest recruits stepped up in their first collegiate appearance. With ten minutes off the clock, freshman Courtney Farrell scored on an assist from Viola. Freshman Katherine Simmons added another goal, with 14:17 remaining, off a helper from senior Kristen Smith.
However, Cornell’s attack was interrupted when Notre Dame’s Meghan Murphy scored at 10:39, making the score 4-2.
But Smith and Viola would both find the net in the remaining minutes of the half, giving Cornell a four-goal lead at the break.
Notre Dame goalie Carol Dixon had seven saves in the first half, keeping the Fighting Irish in a game that could have been even more lopsided.
Viola scored her second goal of the game less than a minute into the second half. Mary McGrath answered with a score for the Irish, only to have Farrell reply soon after, with her second goal of the game.
Almost immediately after, Notre Dame scored two goals in under four minutes, making the score 8-5 Then, with over 22 minutes remaining, Grapp called a time out. A few minutes later Viola scored a goal off a nearly-perfect pass from junior Allison Schindler.
“That’s a play we just worked on,” Viola said. “We’d only practiced it [a few times], and it worked out well.”
The Irish would not give up, however, and Orr quickly scored her second goal of the game on a free position shot with 18:22 remaining.
Simmons and Smith each recorded goals for Cornell after that. Notre Dame made a late push with two goals of its own, but Cornell’s lead was too large to overcome.
During the game, the Red managed to keep Notre Dame’s All-American candidate Crysti Foote scoreless. Foote had netted eight goals in Notre Dame’s first two games of the year. Cornell allowed the Irish only 12 shots on goal.
“They’re a great team,” Viola said of Notre Dame. “They have some really strong attackers … our defense came up huge.”
The Irish beat the Red, 20-7, when the teams faced off a year ago in South Bend.
Archived article by Ted Nyman
Sun Staff Writer