March 28, 2005

Women's Lacrosse Topples Two Ranked Opponents

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After a loss to unranked Stanford a week ago, the women’s lacrosse team might have had reason to be concerned. The Red managed only four goals in the defeat — losing to the Cardinal for the first time in series history. After the game, Cornell’s record stood at 1-2, and the team still had to play No. 13 Ohio State and No. 14 Penn over spring break.

But how quickly Cornell’s fortunes would change.

The Red recovered from its worst offensive outing in years, and went onto earn impressive wins over both the Buckeyes and the Quakers.

The Red (3-2, 1-0 Ivy) beat Ohio State, 13-11, on Tuesday, and defeated Penn, 12-10, on Friday. Although Cornell is currently unranked in the IWLCA national poll, the team will almost certainly find itself among the top 20 in this week’s poll.

The Red came into Palo Alto, Calif. with a 5-0 series record against Stanford. But this time around, the Cardinal (5-3, 3-0 Mountain Pacific) would get the better of Cornell, winning 8-4.

“We really weren’t working together as a team, and we weren’t on the same page,” said senior Kristen Smith. “We really weren’t successful in executing plays or strategies.”

After the tough loss, the Red looked to rebound against Ohio State (4-4, 2-0 American Lacrosse Conference), in Columbus.

“People were really frustrated,” Smith said. “It was a kind of a make or break moment.”

And the Red would not break against Ohio State, as Smith and sophomore Lindsey Moore both earned hat tricks. Junior Allison Schindler and freshman Courtney Farrell had two goals each, and junior goalie Maggie Fava had nine saves for the Red.

Ohio State scored the first goal of the game, with 3:43 off the clock. But Cornell would respond with a five-goal run, as Farrell, freshman Katherine Simmons, Schindler, Moore, and Smith all found the net. Freshman Noelle Dowd would add another goal for the Red later in the half, and Cornell went into halftime with a 6-3 lead.

The Buckeyes would go on to score eight goals in the second half — including four to close out the game. But Cornell was able to hang on for the win. The Red scored seven goals of its own in the half, including a goal from sophomore Margaux Viola, and two goals each from Smith and Moore.

Senior Julia Hughey had four ground balls and four draw controls. Cornell won the overall draw control battle, 18-11.

Cornell next faced conference rival Penn (4-2, 1-1 Ivy). The Red’s offense was led by Schindler, who netted a career-high six goals in the comeback victory.

The Quakers opened the scoring with four consecutive goals, and Penn was up 6-1 with only 13 minutes off the clock. But the Red would come charging back, scoring eight unanswered goals to take a 9-6 lead. Penn would not score again until the middle of the second period. At that point, Schindler had already earned a hat trick for the Red.

Penn continued its late-game comeback effort, but Schindler scored three more times, keeping Cornell in the lead.

“When we got down [early in the first half], we were very composed, which we hadn’t been in some of the other games,” Smith said. “We stuck to our game plan, which ended up working very well.”

Cornell freshman Ashley Blum was in net for most of the game, and she had four saves.

The Red will play again on Wednesday night, when Cornell meets upstate rival Colgate in Ithaca.

Archived article by Ted Nyman
Sun Staff Writer