Tomorrow, the women’s lacrosse team will put its 10-game home winning streak on the line as No. 16 Dartmouth (6-3, 2-1 Ivy) comes to town. No. 12 Cornell (6-2, 2-1 Ivy) is currently in a three-way tie for second place in the Ivy League, and the Red and the Green will be battling for positioning in the conference.
Dartmouth, who has won the Ivy League championship seven times since 1997, holds a 22-4 all-time record versus Cornell. The Green boasts four Tewaaraton Trophy candidates on its roster – senior midfielder Kristen Zimmer, senior defender Lizzy Cuneo, senior goaltender Devon Wills, and junior attack Whitney Douthett.
“It’s always a big game when we play a top team. Dartmouth was a Final Four team last season,” said head coach Jenny Graap ’86. “We are coming off a frustrating loss to Princeton, so we are using this game as an opportunity to demonstrate how badly we want this.”
Last Saturday, Cornell dropped a 10-6 decision to then-No. 8 Princeton. Despite holding an advantage in shots and turnovers and jumping out to an early 4-1 lead, the Red could not hold on and fell to the Tigers’ hounding defense and efficient shooting.
Dartmouth, meanwhile, is riding a three-game winning streak and is coming off an 11-9 overtime victory at Brown. The Green scored twice in the final two minutes of regulation to force the extra period and then scored twice more in overtime to secure the victory.
The Green is paced offensively by Douthett, who leads the team in points (29) and assists (15). Junior Jen Pittman leads the team in goals with 23 and is one of five players in the lineup with at least 15 tallies on the season. On defense, Zimmer leads the nation in caused turnovers, averaging 3.44 a game, and was named an Ivy League defensive player of the week earlier this season. In goal, Wills has posted a 7.65 goals against average and a .507 save percentage.
“They have a number of women capable of scoring and have a very talented senior goalkeeper,” Graap said. “But, for [tomorrow’s] game, we are going to need to pay attention to ourselves and our team effort.”
The young Cornell squad, which has received 94 percent of its total offensive production from non-seniors, is led in scoring by sophomore Courtney Farrell with 19 goals and eight assists. Junior tri-captain and Tewaaraton Trophy candidate Margaux Viola leads the team in goals (22) and draw controls (21). In goal, senior Maggie Fava is among the nation’s leaders in with a 7.00 goals against average and a .513 save percentage.
Against Dartmouth, the Red will look to get back to the basics, continue to play tough defense and go at the Green with a multidimensional attack. According to Graap, the team has lofty goals for the year and is determined to prove themselves against Dartmouth.
“We want a unified team effort. We have high expectations for the season and that’s what it will take the rest of the way,” Graap said.