April 14, 2006

W. Lax Travels to Face Bears

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The women’s lacrosse team will look to notch another Ivy League victory this weekend as it travels to face Brown tomorrow. No. 12 Cornell (7-2, 3-1 Ivy) currently sits in second place in the conference as it tries to stay in the hunt for an Ivy League title. A victory over the Bears (4-6, 1-1) this weekend would secure a winning league record for the Red for the sixth time in seven seasons.

“This game is huge for us in getting another important Ivy win,” said head coach Jenny Graap ’86. “It will be a challenge for us to play a team with their scrappy and feisty style.”

Last weekend, the Red defeated then-No. 15 Dartmouth, 13-8, behind a commanding game in net from senior goaltender Maggie Fava (11 saves) and an offensive outpouring from sophomore Courtney Farrell. Farrell’s four goals and three assists earned her a second Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week award on the season. The victory was just the fifth all-time for the Red against the Green, a perennial Ancient Eight powerhouse.

Brown bounced back from an agonizing defeat at the hands of Dartmouth two weeks ago by pulling out a nail-biting victory against Columbia last weekend. After Columbia tied the game with 39 seconds remaining, Brown got the go-ahead goal just 19 seconds later and held on for the victory.

The Bears’ offensive attack centers on a quartet of 20-point scorers. The team is lead by Amie Biros, whose 21 goals and eight assists are both tops on the squad. Three other players have scored at least 16 goals on the season as well, as the Red will have to contend with Kate Staley (16 goals, seven assists), Bethany Buzzell (17 goals, three assists) and Mimi DeTolla (16 goals, four assists).

“They have very athletic and very fearless attackers,” Graap said. “Brown’s style is to challenge the cage, so we are working hard on defense to be ready for that.”

In goal, Melissa King has seen the majority of the playing time, recording a 10.70 goals against average and .510 save percentage, placing her in the top-20 nationally in the latter category.

All season long, Cornell has been tough on both sides of the field. Its potent offense is ranked 13th nationally with 12.89 goals scored per game, while its stingy defense is second in the country, allowing a mere 7.11 goals per game. This is due in large part to the play of its core defensemen – junior Anne Riordan, and sophomores Jessica Dwinell and Ashleigh Smith, who will be primarily responsible for containing Brown’s offensive attack. Fava’s game last weekend against Dartmouth was just one of her many strong performances on the season. Fava ranks 12th in the country in save percentage with a .522 mark.

Offensively, Farrell has been on a tear recently, leading the team with 34 points on 23 goals and 11 assists. Junior tri-captain Margaux Viola is second on the team with 28 points on 23 goals and five assists.

The Red currently owns a six-game winning streak against the Bears. However, according to Graap, Brown has historically been a tough opponent.

“We’ve had more close games with them than not, so we need to continue to be well-balanced on the offensive end and continue to slide over on defense and not foul them,” she said.

Archived article by Jon Hausner
Sun Staff Writer