Entering its weekend series, the women’s lacrosse team’s offense was rolling, having scored 15 goals in each of its first two games. However, during that span, the team gave up a total of 25, prompting an increased emphasis on defense in practice this past week.
That emphasis was evident this weekend and the offense showed no signs of slowing down as No. 17 Cornell (3-1) cruised to a 14-1 domination of California (2-3) on Friday and a 13-5 defeat of Hofstra (0-4) yesterday.
In Cornell’s home opener on Friday night, the team scored three goals in the first 1:26 of the game and held California scoreless over the final 43:52 en route to victory. Junior Allison McKeown scored two of the team’s first three goals and ended up with four goals, seven ground balls and three draw controls on the day.
Cornell would extend its lead to 5-0, before California would get its lone goal of the day by senior Leanne Zilioli in the 17th minute. That would be the high point of the game for the Golden Bears as the Red’s defense stymied subsequent efforts.
Cornell would score twice more in the first half for a 7-1 lead, with sophomore Noelle Dowd contributing both of her goals during the first stanza.
Despite its six-goal halftime lead and out-shooting California by a 22-6 margin in the first half, Cornell did not let down, scoring seven second-half goals. Junior Margaux Viola scored three of her four goals in the second half and freshman Jessica Wiegand scored her first collegiate goal off of a free-position shot with just over two minutes remaining in the game.
“I was definitely pleased with our fast start,” said head coach Jenny Graap ’86. “The defense played superbly and it was an overall great team effort.”
Cornell’s dominance extended to all facets of the game, out-shooting California 36-11 on the day, while controlling 13-of-17 draws and forcing 24 turnovers.
Following its commanding performance on Friday, Cornell started off sluggishly as Hofstra jumped out to a 3-0 lead, 3:15 into the game. But from that point on, the Pride’s goals would be few and far between as the Red quickly rebounded, scoring a goal just 36 seconds later. That goal would be the first of 10 consecutive goals scored by Cornell, as the team soon erased any doubts of an atypical performance on Friday.
The Red received a balanced scoring attack, as five players scored at least two goals on the day. Sophomore Courtney Farrell scored twice and assisted on two others, while Viola added three goals of her own. Sophomores Ashleigh Smith and Lis Christie recorded their first points of the season in the 18th minute of the second half, when Christie assisted on Smith’s goal to extend the Red’s lead to 12-4.
Once again the defense was critical to Cornell’s success, forcing 18 turnovers and limiting Hofstra to just 12 shots. Leading the way was the play of junior defenseman Anne Riordan who limited the players she marked on defense to just one goal over the course of the weekend.
“Generally I go out there and try to be as irritating as possible,” Riordan said. “I’m always reminding her that I’m there, whether it’s by checking her or stepping on her toes.”
Despite controlling just five out of 20 draws, Cornell outshot Hofstra 31-12 and retrieved 21 ground balls. Senior goalie Maggie Fava made four saves, including three tough ones in the second half in earning the victory.
Archived article by Jon Hausner
Sun Staff Writer