September 15, 2005

F. Hockey Led By Unsung Midfield

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Three wins in four games is all it took for Cornell’s field hockey team to tie last season’s 3-13 record. This weekend, the Red will look to surpass that number after coming off Sunday’s 9-1 win against St. Francis (Pa.). The team’s offense and midfield proved to be key factors in the win.

“The midfield played extremely well,” said head coach Donna Hornibrook. “I’m really pleased with the leadership from our returning players who are very key to our attack.”

As the team continues Ivy League play this weekend at Penn, the attackers and midfielders will be under even more pressure to put points on the board. After graduating Danielle Dunn ’05 and Gina Testa ’05, who accounted for two-thirds of the team’s scoring last fall, the Red needed all of its players to step up early in the season.

Already, the Red’s freshmen have been making big plays. This week, freshman Alyssa DePaola, who scored two goals in the team’s shutout against Columbia last Saturday, became the team’s second freshman to bring home the title of Ivy League Rookie of the Week. She joins classmate Brenna Gulotta, who received the honor last week.

But while the Red’s freshman have been scoring goals, the success of the offense lies in the strength and experience of the midfielders.

Senior co-captain Blair Corcoran and juniors Sarah Miller and Lindsay Moyer will serve as leaders for the offense. The trio represents some of the most experienced players in the midfield.

“Although they sometimes go unnoticed, our juniors are very key to the attack,” Hornibrook said. “The midfielders do a great job in transition and getting the ball to the forwards.”

After bringing in 14 freshmen to join the team this season, Hornibrook will look to Corcoran, Miller and Moyer to set an example of hard work and dedication on the field.

“I’m really pleased with the leadership from the returning [players],” Hornibrook said. “The juniors, along with Blair, are our key reasons for spreading the offense around.”

The forwards and midfielders have already shown great improvement since the beginning of the season. The Red topped Lehigh 5-2 in its first game of the season. Part of the team’s success came from spreading the scoring around to different players on the offense.

“We constantly substitute [players] in and have fresh legs on the field,” Hornibrook said. “If you look at the scoring against Lehigh, we had one [offensive] line with three goals and the second with two. We have balance and good depth.”

This strategy also paid off in the team’s last game against St. Francis (Pa.). In scoring nine goals in a single game, the women set a new team record.

“The best part about the game was that nine different people scored,” said sophomore Lizzie Auer. “I’ve never seen that happen before.”

Overall, the strength of an already impressive offense will continue to improve through the rest of the season. With the offense scoring a record number of goals and the defense shutting down the opponents’ scoring drives, the team has a lot to look forward to through the rest of the season.

Archived article by ristina Kovach
Sun Staff Writer