The women’s lacrosse team opened up its 2006 slate yesterday with a convincing victory. Traveling to face two-time defending Patriot League champion Colgate (2-1), in Hamilton, N.Y., No. 18/16 Cornell (1-0) outscored Colgate 8-1 in the second half en route to a 15-8 victory.
With the win, the Red improves its record in season openers under head coach Jenny Graap ’86, to 8-1.
Neither squad managed to establish control during the first half as the teams traded goals and leads throughout. Junior Alison McKeown – whose only other goal on the day was the teams final tally – put the Red on the board first after receiving a pass from sophomore Noelle Dowd. Colgate would record two goals within the next minute and a half, and the rest of the first period saw the score tied five times.
Although Cornell was whistled for nine more fouls and Colgate controlled the draws by a 10-5 margin in the first half, the Red went into halftime with the score knotted at 7. However, despite the freezing cold temperature, the Red heated up in the second half, out-shooting the Raiders 15-7 and fielding seven more ground balls.
“The first half, being the first game of the season, there were a few moments when we were tight and a bit tentative,” Graap said. “We calmed down a bit in the second half, established some confidence and got in-sync in the attacking end.”
Colgate senior Katie McVeigh – who is now second all-time on Colgate’s career points list – recorded her second goal of the game to open up the scoring in the second frame and to give the Raiders its last lead of the game. Cornell senior goalkeeper Maggie Fava made three consecutive saves to help tip the momentum in the Red’s favor as the team would go on to score eight consecutive goals.
Juniors Lindsey Moore and Margaux Viola charged the Red’s second half explosion, combining for five goals and two assists during the run. Viola would tie the game at 8 about seven minutes into the second half after receiving a pass from Dowd. Moore would score the next goal five minutes later, making the score 9-8, and giving the Red a lead it would not relinquish.
Moore led all scorers in the game with six points on two goals and four assists. Dowd would end the day with three goals and two assists while Viola netted four tallies of her own. In net, Fava was solid, making 12 saves.
“Maggie Fava got hot in the second half and the whole defensive unit shut Colgate down and played great, which really sparked our offense,” Graap said. “Noelle Dowd also played unbelievably well and was so important not only with her offense, but with her forced turnovers.”
Contributing to Cornell’s victory was the fact that the Red outshot the Raiders 27-23, picked up 22 ground balls compared to Colgate’s 15 and won the turnover battle 26-17.
“In the first half we were very individual in our efforts – there was not a lot of synergy,” Graap said. “We got into a groove in the second half and began to work together. That’s what made the dramatic difference.”