Sunday’s field hockey matchup against Georgetown is significant in a number of ways. Since defeating Colgate on Oct. 18th for its ninth win of the season, the Red has dropped its last two games. With a pair of contests remaining on the schedule, the Red will look for its 10th win, a feat that would ink the 2005 team as the winningest in the program’s history.
The idea of finishing the season on a positive note and cementing its place in the team’s record books is something that – while not weighing heavily on the team’s mind – is much to be desired.
“We were hoping for it against Syracuse,” said senior co-captain Blair Corcoran. “Now we are hoping to win our last two games, get second in the Ivy League, and to set the team record for wins in a season.”
Despite being an Independent and not belonging to a particular conference, Georgetown has played six of the same teams as Cornell. As a basis for comparing the two programs, Cornell holds a 5-1 record against those squads, while Georgetown is just 1-5. Furthermore, Cornell’s goal differential in those games is plus-16, while Georgetown’s is minus-6.
While the team has posted solid defensive efforts over the past few games, Cornell has had some difficulty creating its own scoring opportunities. A critical component of the Red’s offensive scheme is its transition game, where it moves the ball through the midfield to its forwards. Against Brown’s four-player midfield last Sunday, the Red encountered great difficulty getting the ball to its forwards. Against Syracuse on Wednesday night, even though the Red controlled possession in the Orange’s end of the field for most of the game, it could not find the back of the cage. Consequently, in practice this week in preparation for Georgetown, the focus has been on the attack inside the 30-yard line.
“The key for this game is our attack and execution,” said head coach Donna Hornibrook. “We need to finish and be stronger getting in and attacking the circle.”
“Practice this week has been more about ourselves, working on our one-on-one skills, shots on goal, rebounding and finishing inside the circle,” Corcoran said.
On the season, the Hoyas have experienced mixed results and some heartbreaking defeats, including three overtime losses. In its second game of the season, Georgetown lost to Radford by a score of 3-2 in quadruple overtime. Against a perennially tough Maine squad last Sunday, the game remained scoreless until the 98th minute, when the Black Bears pulled out the 1-0 double-overtime victory.
Georgetown plays a comparable style to Cornell, using a similar formation and emphasizing its speed on its forward line. The Hoyas are led by a standout freshman forward Maggie Farrand, who leads the team in goals (5), assists (5), points (15) and shots on goal (17).
For two of the Red’s players, sophomore Lizzie Goldblatt and freshman Abbi Horn, this weekend’s game is significant in that it will be a homecoming of sorts, given that both are from the area.
“I am very excited because I haven’t been home since August and my family and some of my high school teammates may be there,” Goldblatt said. “I live 15 minutes from the field and played on it over the summer, so it’s always good to play on a field that’s familiar to you.”
The game is set for 12 p.m. on Sunday at Kehoe Field.
Archived article by Jon Hausner
Sun Staff Writer