Despite seeing some signs of a revived offense, the women’s soccer team (6-4-0, 1-2-0 Ivy) still could not find the back of the net this past Saturday morning, dropping its fourth contest in a row, 3-0, to Harvard (6-3-2, 1-1-1 Ivy).
“We put together a good game – one of our best of the season,” said sophomore Leslie Campbell. “We just made a few mistakes that really hurt us.”
Playing in miserable Ithaca conditions, the Red fought through the rain to out-shoot the Crimson 22-14 as well as hold a 5-2 advantage in corner kicks. Nevertheless, some superb goaltending by Harvard senior Katie Shields – making 10 saves to earn her eighth shutout on the season – stifled the Red attack.
Meanwhile, five Crimson players earned points on the afternoon in producing Harvard’s most offensively productive game this season.
Scoring opened up just minutes into the game as freshman Erin Wylie gave the Crimson a 1-0 lead by knocking home a rebound on a free kick by sophomore Jamie Greenwald. The goal was Wylie’s team-leading third score of the season.
For much of the rest of the half, Cornell appeared in control of the game, earning a 10-7 lead in shots by the end of the period. Yet, the Red attackers were unable to find a way to get the ball past Shields.
A little over 10 minutes into the second half, the Crimson double its lead, as senior Sara Sedgewick put a shot on goal from midfield. Unfortunately for the Red, the ball took a funny hop over Cornell goalkeeper Katrina Matlin’s head and into the net.
Rachel Lau added the last score for Harvard with just minutes to play in the contest. Receiving a centering pass from sophomore Megan Kerr, the freshman took a shot from about 15 yards out. Matlin made a valiant effort to stop the attempt, but just came up short of redirecting the ball to keep it out of the goal.
Overall, the Red came away from the game feeling good about how it played for the most part. However, the team was again disappointed with the lapses, which have plagued the Red throughout its four game losing streak.
“We need to stay focused and eliminate those mistakes,” Campbell said.
The Cornell loss marks the second game in a row that the Red has held an advantage in shots, but has been unable to avoid the loss. A week ago, Cornell held a 19-15 margin in shots over Colgate, but fell to the Raiders, 3-1.
At the same time, the Red’s overall offensive output has fallen dramatically since its six game winning streak to open the 2005 campaign. Through that run, the Red scored over a 2.5 goals per game. Since then, however, Cornell has managed just three goals in its last four games.
“We’ve taken good shots,” Campbell said. “The goalies have gotten stronger and when we get chances, we have to finish them.”
Cornell will next take the field against Yale as it travels to New Haven, Conn., for an afternoon contest this Saturday.
Archived article by Scott Reich
Sun Staff Writer