May 3, 2006

Top 10 Sophomore Athletes

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These ten second-year sensations avoided the cursed sophomore slump to make major contributions to their respective programs. Some made history, others proved their consistency, but one thing that remained constant about these athletes is that they made their teams and programs better. They represent the top-10 sophomore athletes at Cornell this year.

Marin Barnes, Women’s Squash

Barnes posted a 7-8 individual record this season while playing at the No. 4 slot for the No. 9 women’s squash team. After the Red opened the season with three straight losses, she helped right the ship by posting a win in a 7-2 victory over Bates College. Towards the end of the season, she helped Cornell roll off three-straight 9-0 sweeps over William Smith, Middlebury and Colby. The final two victories came in the first-two rounds of the CSA team championships, advancing the Red to the ninth-place match of the Kurtz Cup “B” Division, where the squad fell to Bates, 6-3. Barnes was one of just two squashers to represent the Red at the NISRA individual championships. Despite suffering a defeat in the first round at this tournament, she rattled off two wins to advance to the consolation semi-finals, where she was defeated by Middlebury’s Hannah Baker in four games.

Colleen Davis, Gymnastics

Davis, a co-captain on the gymnastics team, was a strong performer for the Red throughout the season, capping off her second year at Cornell with a second-place finish and All-America honors on vault at USAG Nationals. Her performance in the national meet led Cornell to the final round of the team competition for the first time in school history, and then paced the Red to a third-place showing – the first time a team without scholarship athletes placed in the history of the competition. Davis also claimed a share of two other championships this past season, tying for first on vault at the ECAC championship meet and at the Ivy Classic. These two performances helped the Cornell squad to a tie for fourth place in a nine-team field at the ECACS, and its first Ivy title since 2002. She also claimed first place on the vault in the Red’s final home meet against Penn on March 18, sealing an unbeaten record in dual meets for the 2006.

Brian Fairclough, Men’s Polo

Cornell entered 2005-06 as the defending national champions and consistently looked to Fairclough in its bid to repeat. Although the Red’s title hopes died with a 19-16 defeat at the hands of top-ranked Texas A&M in the UPSA intercollegiate national championship semifinals, Fairclough was one of the main reasons the team made it that far and finished with an 11-5 record overall. He was a reliable rider for Cornell, starting a majority of the men’s games, including a resounding 27-9 win against UC-Davis in the national quarterfinals. His highlight reel includes a six-goal performance in a 16-10 win over Skidmore on Nov. 4, but his shining moment came when he scored 10 goals to lead the Red to victory over UConn, 29-11, on March 6. This dominating win over the Huskies avenged the two losses Cornell suffered at their hands earlier in the season.

Courtney Farrell, Women’s Lacrosse

Farrell’s name will go down in history after this season, as she was one of the women’s lacrosse team’s offensive leaders as the Red clinched a share of the first Ivy League title in program history. She currently leads the team with 46 points, notching a team-best 19 assists and adding 27 goals, while starting all 14 games for the Red. The league bestowed Offensive Player of the Week honors on Farrell twice, the first coming on March 27 after she score five goals and handed out three assists in wins over Vanderbilt on the road and No. 17 Penn at home, including the game-winning tally in a 12-4 victory over the Quakers. Her second league award came on April 10, after Cornell earned an important conference win over then-No. 15 Dartmouth. Against the Green, Farrell had a career-high seven points in a 13-8 win, scoring four goals and distributing a career-high three assists. In league play this season, Farrell leads all Ivy League players with 1.86 assists per game and 3.86 points per game. She is also ranked in goals per game, as she is tied for fifth with 2.00 per game.

Brittany Forgues, Women’s Hockey

Both the women’s hockey team and Forgues enjoyed newfound success this season, as the Red tripled its win total from a year ago and the sophomore forward tripled her point production. Forgues finished the season with a team-high 12 goals and three assists, and also paced Cornell (9-18-1, 5-15-0 ECACHL) in ECACHL action with eight goals. Three of those goals were game-winners, including a third-period goal to secure a 4-3 win over then-No. 9 Harvard on Feb. 17. This was the Red’s lone win over a ranked opponent this season, and ended a nine-game losing streak against the Crimson. Forgues performed best under pressure, scoring Cornell’s lone goal in a Jan. 20 loss to No. 3 St. Lawrence, and notching two tallies and an assist in a 6-3 loss to No. 9 Harvard on Jan. 8. Another clutch performance came against Bemidji State on Dec. 31, when Forgues’s goal secured a 2-1 win and a three-game winning streak for the Red, its longest run of success all season.

Robbie Fritz, Golf

The Ivy championship tournament was a disappointment for the golf team this year, as the Red fell to eighth place after tying its highest finish ever with a second-place showing in 2005. Fritz also faltered at the championships, falling to 37th place after tying for sixth in his rookie debut. However, despite one bad weekend, Fritz was consistently the best Cornell had to offer on the golf course, leading the Red in every other tournament over the fall and spring seasons. In the fall, he posted three top-10 finishes, peaking with a second-place performance on his home course at the Cornell Invitational with a total score of 216, just four strokes behind the leader. His best three-round score came at the James Madison Invitational this spring, when he shot a 3-under-par 210 to place 14th and was the only Cornell golfer to break into the top-40.

Brian Kaufman, Baseball

Kaufman showed no signs of the sophomore slump in his second season with the Red, coming through time and again for Cornell and ranking among league leaders in several categories. He led the conference with nine home runs, 45 runs scored and six triples, and his 38 RBI were good for a third-place tie among Ancient Eight players. He started all 39 games for the Red at center field, and wrapped up the season with a .328 batting average. He was an offensive force for Cornell in several other statistical categories, ranking second in doubles (eight) and leading the squad with 81 total bases. The Ancient Eight named him Player of the Week after two games against Le Moyne and four against Ivy foe Penn the week of April 10, when Kaufman hit .538 (14-of-26) with four doubles, six triples and three home runs. In those same six games, he had 19 RBI, 10 more than his total for the season up to that point. All but one of those RBI came in a four-game series against Penn, leading the Red to three victories and a brief stint at second place in the Gehrig division standings.

Jenn Meunier, Softball

For the second year in a row, Meunier was the go-to pitcher for the Red, leading the softball team to a second-place Ivy League finish from the rubber. Heading into today’s doubleheader against Binghamton, she has thrown her way to a 14-8 record. In 144 2/3 innings of work, she ranks fifth among Ancient Eight hurlers with a 2.23 ERA. Her 106 stikeouts for the season is good for fourth in the league. She earned Ivy League Pitcher of the Week honors on April 18 following a perfect, 3-0, performance in games against Canisus, Penn and Princeton. In pitching three complete games, she accumulated a 1.33 ERA and gave up just four runs. Against the Tigers, she gave up just two runs on eight hits, struck out eight batters and walked one as the Red became the first Ancient Eight team to hand Princeton a loss in 2006. In a sweep of Columbia this past weekend, Meunier struck out nine and gave up nine hits while going the distance for the 15th time this season.

Luke Siwula, Football

The coaching staff touted Siwula as one of the breakout stars of the spring season, and the tailback didn’t disappoint in his first campaign as a starter for the football team. The sophomore rushed for 1,086 yards on the season – more than the Red’s team rushing total from the 2004 season and good for 10th all-time in a season among Cornell gridders. He was the primary weapon for a rushing offense that led the Ivy League with 248.6 yards per game. In his first three career starts, he ran for more than 100 yards, the first Cornellian to do so since Ed Marinaro ’72. By the end of the season, he had run for more than 100 yards in six games. Siwula was ranked third in the Ivy League with 4.3 yards per carry in conference play, and averaged 108.6 yards per game on the ground in conference games. He scored 10 touchdowns for the Red, eight rushing and two passing, and was also voted to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District team.

Jimmy Wyner, Men’s Cross Country, Men’s Track

Wyner hit the ground running in September for the men’s cross country team, never missed a stride and kept on chugging through the indoor and presently the outdoor season for the men’s track and field team. He was a key contributor for the harriers, finishing fourth among Cornell runners and 24th overall at IC4A championships to help the Red finish second in a field of 20 teams. At the NCAA Northeast Regionals, he finished in the top-25, earning All-Region honors. During the indoor season, his mile time of 4:03.48 met the NCAA provisional standard and ranked third all-time among Cornell runners. The day after that performance, he anchored the 4×800-meter relay team to its second consecutive IC4A title in a time of 7:27.24, No. 2 all-time in program history. At indoor Heps, he competed in the mile and 1,000 meters, placing second in the mile in a time of 4:05.93, fourth-best in the Cornell record books, and finished first in the 1,000 before being disqualified for a foul in the final lap. Most recently, during the outdoor season, Wyner was a part of the 4×800 team that posted fourth-best time in Cornell history – and best since 1975 – at the Penn Relays.

Archived article by Olivia Dwyer
Sun Sports Editor