Neither ball control nor scoring chances were a problem for the women’s soccer team last night against St. Bonaventure, as Cornell kicked the Bonnies around the pitch for 110 minutes but was ultimately unable to put the ball in the back the net, ending the affair in a scoreless tie.
The scoring chances began early for the Red when senior Alison McKeown bent a shot that skidded just wide of the right post in the eighth minute. Seven minutes later, senior Whitney Hughes aimed for the same spot, only to see her shot ricochet right off the post and get gobbled up by the St. Bonaventure defense.
The Red continued to push forward and looked to keep the ball in its offensive end of the field. It was not until the 30th minute that sophomore goalkeeper Taylor Hendren even touched the ball as she easily scooped up an overshot pass by the Bonnies.
The Red dominated the rest of the first half, producing opportunities all over the field, only to see its efforts prove to be unsuccessful as it walked away at half with nothing to show.
“Sometimes the game is funny,” said head coach Gretchen Zigante. “We are focused more on attack than we used to be, but we just couldn’t find the right rhythm.”
While most of the team was focused on pushing forward, junior co-captain Leslie Campbell controlled the defense, refusing to allow St. Bonaventure to capitalize on any sort of counterattack.
[img_assist|nid=18124|title=Head games.|desc=Senior Jessica Snyder (pictured right) heads a ball near midfield yesterday against St. Bonaventure.|link=popup|align=left|width=100|height=43]
The Red’s onslaught continued in the second half as freshman Eva Dixon entered the game and immediately made an impact with a near miss on a deflection by St. Bonaventure goalkeeper Lisa Eberhart. Eberhart would end up covering for the Bonnies defense on a number of occasions with impressive saves on what looked like sure goals for the Red.
With ten minutes to play, the Red had its best chance as, from outside the box, senior Jessica Snyder ripped a driven shot towards the upper right corner that was just pushed over the bar by a sprawling Eberhart.
“It really just takes one goal,” Zigante said. “Finishing has been a theme for us this season and if we start putting some in the back of the net, then the floodgates will really open up.”
The combination of Dixon and senior Caitlin Oliver up front proved to produce the best chances as the duo frequently challenged the St. Bonaventure defense and continued to manufacture legitimate opportunities to score. Dixon will likely see more playing time in the future to help get the Red’s attack on track.
“I didn’t want throw to much at her right away,” Zigante said. “She is only a freshman, but she is very talented.”
With the score still tied at zero at the end of 90 minutes, the teams played two ten minute periods of extra time in hopes of breaking the deadlock. It was not to be, however, as the referee blew the final whistle ending the game in a tie.