The women’s lacrosse team honored its four senior class members with a 9-7 victory over Yale on Saturday on Schoellkopf Field. With the win, No. 11 Cornell extended its home-winning streak to 13 games and concluded its second undefeated season at Schoellkopf in school history.
“It was the seniors’ last regular-season game on Schoellkopf against a team we had not previously beaten, so the win over Yale was a positive end to four years on our home turf,” said senior tri-captain Lyndsay Robinson. “This win was also important to remain contenders for the Ivy title and an NCAA bid.”
Thanks to Dartmouth’s 15-5 victory over Princeton on Saturday, the Red (10-2, 5-1 Ivy) is now tied for first with Princeton in the conference. Each squad will play in its final league game this weekend with the Ivy title and an automatic NCAA tournament berth on the line.
The Cornell-Yale match-up was billed as a defensive battle with the No. 2 Red defense pitted against a Bulldog squad known for its defensive pressure and intensity. Cornell got on the board first, five minutes into the game on a goal by sophomore Katherine Simmons, her first of four on the day. However, neither team scored until Simmons got her second goal of the half, off a free position shot, with 7:51 remaining. Cornell would score three more times before the period would end on two more goals by Simmons and one by sophomore Noelle Dowd.
The Red’s defensive unit was stellar in the first half, limiting Yale to just seven shots, five of which were on goal. On the few opportunities that the Bulldogs did manage to get a shot off, senior goaltender Maggie Fava was in position to deny the attempt, as Cornell went into halftime with a 5-0 lead.
“We were excited to be controlling the pace of the game and pleased with the defensive efforts of the first half,” Robinson said. “[During halftime,] we emphasized the need for a strong second-half performance in order to complete the victory.”
Over the course of the first half, Cornell was able to dictate the pace of the game because it managed to control 4-of-6 draws. However, Yale won the first three draws of the second half and capitalized on them, scoring three goals in the first 5:43 of the period.
“They started to step up and take the ball harder to the net,” head coach Jenny Graap ’86 said. “We got caught fouling and gave Yale opportunities in the second half that we didn’t give them in the first.”
Senior tri-captain Allison Schindler curtailed Yale’s momentum with the first of two second-half goals off an assist by sophomore Courtney Farrell at the 17:28 mark.
The two teams traded goals over the next eight minutes, with Cornell getting scores from juniors Lindsey Moore and tri-captain Margaux Viola. Schindler’s goal with 5:47 to play extended the Red’s lead to 9-5. Yale managed two more goals before the game ended, but it was not enough as Cornell claimed a 9-7 win.
All four seniors played significant roles in helping the Red earn the victory. Rachel Spoonhower won the final draw allowing Cornell to run out the clock. Schindler finished with two goals, while Fava finished with nine saves on the day. Robinson was a key defensive player for the Red, picking up four ground balls, controlling two draws and causing two turnovers.