Cornell kicked off its 2005 field hockey campaign this past weekend with a road trip to Pennsylvania, taking on Lehigh and Lafayette. The Red received an outpour of offensive production against Lehigh, thanks predominantly to a strong debut by its freshmen, on the way to a 5-2 victory. Against Lafayette, however, the Red’s offense was stymied – managing to score just once on 16 shots en route to a narrow, 2-1, loss.
On Friday, the Red was led by a slew of freshmen making their first collegiate starts. Rookie Brenna Gulotta registered a goal and two assists, while classmate Mandy Malzberg notched two goals of her own. In fact, it was the freshmen that accounted for much of the Red’s offensive statistics, with four goals and four assists on the day.
“As a freshman, going out there was a little scary at first, but we did well and were able to concentrate on quick transitions and on getting the ball to our forwards,” Gulotta said.
The Red opened up the scoring 22 minutes into the half when freshman Helena Haas took a pass from classmate Abbi Horn, beat the goalkeeper and scored on the empty net. It seemed as if the 1-0 score would remain intact heading into the half, but Lehigh scored on an unassisted goal with just 14 seconds remaining to tie the score, 1-1.
With the halftime score knotted at one, the Red came back onto the field firing, scoring four unanswered goals to put the game away. With the game out of reach, Lehigh tallied another goal with 2:44 remaining to round out the scoring.
Cornell made better use of its scoring opportunities throughout the game, scoring on five of its 11 shots, while Lehigh managed just two goals on its 11 shots. Sophomore Lizzie Goldblatt allowed just one score in her first career start before freshman Shannon Prescott took a turn in goal.
As promised, the Lafayette match on Sunday was a defensive battle throughout. Lafayette netted the first goal, off of a penalty corner, a minute into the match. Halfway through the first half, the Leopards doubled their lead with a penalty stroke, which proved to be the eventual game winner.
“We had been working on our pressure defense and creating opportunities to score off of that pressure. We now need to work on finishing,” said senior co-captain Blair Corcoran.
Cornell finally capitalized on one of its 16 shots on goal, compared to Lafayette’s six, late in the second half. Freshman Belen Martinez notched the goal off of a penalty corner while senior co-captain Natalie Serle and Corcoran were credited with assists on the play.
The Red tried in vain to tie up the score late in the game, but the Lafayette goalkeeper swatted away subsequent efforts en route to a 12-save performance.
“Lafayette was a tough game because we felt there were lots of bad calls against us, but everyone remained positive and helpful throughout,” said Corcoran. “Even though we lost, it was a very positive weekend and we were pretty happy with the results.”
Archived article by Jon Hausner
Sun Staff Writer