The women’s soccer team (7-6-1) will try to play the role of spoiler and preserve a winning season as it travels to Dartmouth to wrap up its 2005 campaign on Sunday.
If Cornell earns a win or tie against the Green, the Red will clinch its first winning season since its 2002 edition went 9-6-2. On the other hand, a loss would send Cornell to its third straight 1-5-1 finish in Ivy League play.
“To end the season above .500 would be awesome,” said junior midfielder Whitney Hughes. “After so many tough Ivy games, a win would be a great boost for that record.”
Meanwhile, the Green (11-4-1, 4-2-0 Ivy) fell to second place in the Ivy standings after dropping a 2-1 decision to the league-leading Yale squad on Wednesday. With a win over Cornell, coupled with a Yale tie or loss at Brown on Saturday night, Dartmouth would clinch the Ivy championship.
Cornell, however, is determined not to let that happen.
They are a solid team, but we played them really well last year,” Hughes said. “I think we have a really good chance to end the season on a high note.”
Nevertheless, Dartmouth should give the Red plenty to handle.
Defensively, the Green has been nothing short of dominant. Allowing just 6.6 shots per game, Dartmouth has held opponents to a stingy .84 goals per game.
Sophomore goalkeeper Amanda Webb has been one of the key players for the Green. With a .71 goals against average and a .759 save percentage, she has put together a stellar 8-2-0 record along with five shutouts.
At the other end of the field, Dartmouth has been efficient on the attack as well, netting on average 1.73 goals off of 14.1 attempts per contest.
Junior Sara Johnson has been the all-around superstar for the Green offense. Leading the team in every category, her nine goals and six assists are more than double the point total for her next closest teammate.
However, the Red will also need to keep an eye on senior scoring threat Christina Ferraris, who has added five goals for Dartmouth on the year.
Prior to its heartbreaking setback to Yale earlier in the week, the Green had rattled off a six game unbeaten streak.
Cornell will also enter this weekend’s match-up off of a tough loss after dropping a 4-1 contest to Princeton a week ago.
With the Red out-shot, 30-8, in that game, freshman goalkeeper Taylor Hendren put in a solid effort to keep Cornell close, making 14 stops on the day. Meanwhile, junior Caitlin Oliver’s second-half score raised her season total to four.
Heading into their last collegiate contest, senior co-captains Kara Ishikawa and Shannon Fraser have much to play for as they put the finishing touches on their impressive careers playing for the Red.
Besides striving to be strong leaders on and off the field, the duo has also consistently been the core to the Cornell attack.
With seven goals and 17 total points, Ishikawa should finish the 2005 campaign as the top player on the team in both departments. Meanwhile, Fraser, who recently received CoSIDA Academic All-American honors for the second straight season, has added four goals and 10 total points for the Red.
“They’ve done so much for this team,” Hughes said. “It should be an emotional game. Also, it will be really motivating – we want to win this one for them.”
Archived article by Scott Reich
Sun Staff Writer