Calling the early part of the women’s lacrosse schedule tough is an understatement. Facing seven ranked teams within its first nine games, the Red (4-5, 2-1 Ivy) has played relentlessly, though falling just short in some of its upset bids.
Nevertheless, after dropping its last three games against teams that are all ranked in top-12 in the nation, the No. 14 Cornell squad, unfazed by the dry spell, will have the chance to get back on the winning track while facing Brown and Columbia this weekend.
“We’re pretty upbeat in practice,” said freshman Amanda Linnertz. “We know we’re a good team and we have confidence in ourselves.”
Facing the Bears (3-6, 1-1 Ivy) at Schoellkopf Field today, the Cornell attack will be looking for a breakout game after being held at just eight goals in each of its last three contests. On the season, the Bears have allowed an average of 11.4 goals against per game and have given up 10 or more goals in its last four contests.
Pacing the Cornell attack is senior Kristen Smith who already has tallied 19 goals and 22 points on the season. However, younger players, such as freshmen Courtney Farrell and Katherine Simmons, who have combined to net 20 and 12 points, respectively, have also come up huge through the first half of the season. Also, unsurprisingly, Cornell’s all-time single season assists record-holder, junior Allison Schindler, is again tops on the team in that category with eight.
Defensively, Cornell must keep an eye on Brown’s trio of proven goal scorers. Junior Kate Staley, with identical stats to the Red’s Smith, paces the Bear offense. Teammates Sarah Passano and Amie Biros, however, are not far behind with both having already notched 16 and 14 scores, respectively.
“They are pretty tough,” said Linnertz. “They are very scrappy.”
In Sunday’s contest at Colombia (5-6, 0-5 Ivy), Cornell will try to slow down the Lions’ three proven goal scorers. Each with 30 points through 11 games, Colombia attackers Carrie Anderer, Katie Warner and Elyse Pultz combine to score almost seven goals a game. Anderer leads the trio with 27 goals.
Facing talented offensive threats in both games, Cornell’s junior goalie Maggie Fava will need to play a pivotal role if the Red is to pick up two conference victories. So far, Fava has allowed 10.16 goals per game, while stopping 45.7 percent of the shots on net.
The Red will look to attack a Columbia defense early and often that is allowing an average of over 10 goals per game on the season. The Lion defense has been especially victimized against Ivy foes, giving up 13.4 goals per game in those contests. Netminder Marcela Calidonio has worked the bulk of the playing time in goal for Columbia, earning a .486 save percentage and 10.45 goals against average.
Following the road trip to New York City on Sunday, the Red will leave Ithaca again to face No. 19 Yale at New Haven next Saturday.
Archived article by Scott Reich
Sun Staff Writer