September 8, 2006

W. Soccer to Face Niagara, Canisius in Soccer Classic

Print More

Just two days after a frustrating 0-0 draw with St. Bonaventure, the women’s soccer team will be at it again this weekend when it heads to Niagara, N.Y., for the Niagara Soccer Classic.
Cornell will play its first match of the tournament this afternoon against in-state rival Canisius.
“They will be about the same level as St. Bonaventure and Lafayette. Anybody can fight for a game, so I expect the same kind of performance [from Canisius], but we have the ability to win,” said interim head coach Gretchen Zigante.
Canisius (1-3-0) is led by junior forward Stephanie Karst, who leads the team in both goals and shots. The Red (1-0-1) will face off against the host team, Niagara (2-1-0), on Sunday. Zigante expects a stiffer challenge from the Purple Eagles, as they have scored 10 goals in just their first three games, including five by junior standout Brittany Bisnott.
“From what I can tell, Niagara is an up and coming program. I expect them to be a little more sophisticated,” Zigante said.
Central Michigan (4-0-0) will also participate in the four-team tournament. Cornell defeated Canisius last year, 3-2, in Ithaca. This will be the first meeting between Niagara and the Red.
However, after dominating St. Bonaventure for the full 110 minutes, including out-shooting the Bonnies 28-8, and still failing to secure the victory, the Red is just anxious to get back on the pitch.
“We were so frustrated, which makes us even more excited for the weekend. We were the better team, but we need to take advantage. It was also a positive game, because it showed our character that we were able to battle for the full time,” said senior midfielder Whitney Hughes.
“It’s a very frustrating experience and you just have to accept that you didn’t get the result that you wanted,” Zigante said.
Indeed, despite the disappointing result, the Red will take many positives from the game with them into the weekend. Freshman Eva Dixon came off the bench and put on an impressive offensive show, putting up eight shots. Dixon, along with senior Caitlin Oliver, will likely be trusted with spearheading the Red attack this weekend.
“I can’t say enough about [Dixon’s] performance. She’s extremely talented and we knew that’s what we were getting when we recruited her. She has a bit of an injury, so I don’t want to overplay her, but she should earn a starting spot by Ivies,” Zigante said.
The Red defense, known for its consistency, put on another strong performance and held the line together against St. Bonaventure. Although the Bonnies rarely threatened, whenever they did the Red was there to thwart the attack.
“It’s a heck of a sense of security. You never feel vulnerable, you always feels confident. It was very rare that they actually got in, and when they did they were there to shut them down,” Zigante said.
This time around, though, the Red is determined to put the ball in the back of the net and earn the desired result.
“We are definitely looking to come out with two wins. If we finish and finish well, we’ll be happy. We are looking for a strong overall performance, which we had last time, but now we want the results,” Zigante said.