After winning its third consecutive game Sunday afternoon against UMBC, the Cornell women’s field hockey team will look to remain undefeated on its current home stand today when it faces off against Colgate (6-8, 1-2 Patriot) at Schoellkopf Field.
The Red – which improved its record to 8-4 (4-1 Ivy) with the victory – is continuing to thrive with the ball control philosophy that has been the foundation of its success throughout the year, as the success of this strategy was particularly evident against UMBC.
The women were successful in controlling the tempo throughout the match with superior ball control, dominating their opponents with crisp passing and solid fundamentals. As a result, the Red compiled a 14-3 advantage in shots, 10 of which were put on goal, in comparison to UMBC’s mere one shot.
Furthermore, Cornell did not allow a single UMBC penalty corner, while gaining six of its own, a statistic that is particularly impressive after it yielded seven to Bucknell in its previous match. Tonight the team will play a Colgate team that, despite traditionally being a competitive in-state rival, has had its problems this season – particularly of late.
The Raiders have dropped seven of their last eight games by a combined score of 26-8. However, Colgate won five of its first six games to open the year and is just coming off of a very emotional, 3-2, double overtime win against conference rival Lafayette on Sunday.
Although they are plagued by inconsistency as a team, the Raiders have had steady leaders throughout the year. On offense, senior Dana Shaner leads the team with 11 goals and 23 points on the year, both of which rank among the top in the Patriot League.
On defense she is supported by junior goalkeeper Jacque Demarco, who has started all 14 games on the year and sports a .682 save percentage – despite receiving over 10 shots a game.
Both stars played a prominent role in Colgate’s double overtime win against Lafayette. Shaner netted her first goal of the game deep into the second half to send the contest into overtime and struck again in double overtime to give the Raiders their first victory in seven games. Backing Shaner up in goal, Demarco stopped a remarkable 13 shots to clinch the victory.
Cornell will have to find a way to slow down both players if it wants to extend its winning streak to four.
Head coach Donna Hornibrook, however, is more concerned with her team’s overall effort and execution than the final result – especially on the offensive end.
“We did a nice job of controlling the ball and maintaining a tight defense against UMBC, however, I was not pleased with our performance inside the opponent’s 25 [yard line]. We need to build on our ball control and start converting more of our opportunities on offense,” Hornibrook said.
Hornibrook sees the game more as a means of preparing for the upcoming conference match-ups against Brown and Dartmouth, games that could decide the outcome of the Ivy League championship.
The Red is still chasing the unblemished conference record of Princeton, which stands at 5-0 in the Ivy League on the year. As both teams have two games remaining against Ivy League opponents, however, there is still time for Cornell to take over the top spot.
“Although we would certainly like to catch Princeton, we just want to take the rest of the season one game at a time. Our goal coming in was to gain the respect of the Ivy League, and I think we have accomplished that so far,” Hornibrook said.
Archived article by Lance Williams
Sun Staff Writer