March 27, 2006

W. Lax Defeats Vanderbilt, Two Ivy Opponents

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In dominating fashion, the No. 13 women’s lacrosse team improved to 6-1 overall this past week, defeating Ivy foes Columbia, 14-3, and Penn, 12-4, at home. The team also hit the road and topped Vanderbilt, 14-8.

“It was a strong all-around effort,” said head coach Jenny Graap ’86. “A lot of players saw action and our defense looked really good.”

Opening up its Ivy schedule against the Lions (4-3, 0-2 Ivy) last Saturday, Cornell (2-0 Ivy) cruised to victory behind three goals apiece from junior captain Margaux Viola and sophomores Katherine Simmons and Courtney Farrell. Junior Alison McKeown also added two scores of her own, while Farrell added two assists to pace the team with five overall points.

The Red dominated play from the get-go, scoring its first goal less than 90 seconds into the contest. Overall, Cornell out-shot the Lions 34-10, and senior Maggie Fava made five saves in net to earn the win.

Although the game against No. 19 Vanderbilt appeared close on paper, the Red’s victory against the Commodores (4-5) came in similar fashion. Again, Cornell jumped out to early lead, grabbing a 6-1 advantage 20 minutes into the game. Vanderbilt never closed the margin to less than four goals.

Simmons again paced the Red with five goals, while Farrell and sophomores Amanda Linnertz and Noelle Dowd all combined for seven scores.

Cornell pushed its winning streak to five games with its victory over the No. 17 Quakers to close out its Spring Break schedule.

This time, however, the Red fell behind early after a Penn goal opened up the scoring a little less than four minutes into the game. Cornell struck right back, notching nine goals in the last 21:48 of the first half to enjoy a 9-3 advantage heading into the break.

In the second half, Cornell’s defense took over, holding the Quakers to just one goal en route to the victory.

“The whole defense deserves a lot of praise for the entire week,” Graap said.

Fava also played very strong throughout the three contests, lowering her goals against average to 6.57.

“She played very, very well – especially against Penn,” Grapp said.

Meanwhile, Viola, who pushed her team-leading goals mark to 21, continued her solid play at both ends of the field.

“We’ve gotten very consistent play from Viola,” Graap said. “She’s scored two or three goals in every game and has also played great on defense.”

Farrell and Simmons, both second-team All-Ivy selections a year ago, also continued their run as key offensive producers for the Red. Emerging as the team’s top playmakers, Farrell has become the team’s leading point scorer with 26 total points. Simmons, meanwhile, has moved into third on the team in goals, with 15 on the year.

With a meeting at Ivy rival Princeton scheduled for this upcoming weekend, Cornell’s league victories over Columbia and Penn are even more important as momentum-builders heading into this week’s action.

“Winning the Ivy League is our ticket to the NCAA tournament,” Graap said. “We’ve never won the Ivies and it’s always been one of our goals. We’re just trying to do it one step at a time.”

Archived article by Scott Reich
Sun Staff Writer