The women’s field hockey team will look to get back to its winning ways tomorrow night when it plays host to visiting Yale at 7 p.m. inside Schoellkopf Stadium.
Despite coming off its first loss of the season, a 2-0 defeat to Vermont last Sunday, the Red is off to its best start in program history, boasting a 4-1 overall mark and perfect 2-0 conference record. Yale will take the field with a less impressive, 1-5, 0-1 Ivy record, however, Cornell head coach Donna Hornibrook feels as if Yale’s one-win record isn’t reflective of its team talent.
“They’ve played very tough teams,” she said. “Their non-conference schedule has been extremely hard.”
Yale opened its season with a 3-1 victory over Virginia Commonwealth, but has since dropped five straight games, losing to the likes of No. 10 UConn, and last year’s Ivy League champion, Princeton.
[img_assist|nid=18484|title=Lucky seven|desc=Senior attacker Sarah Miller (7) makes a play on a ball at midfield in a game earlier this season.|link=popup|align=left|width=100|height=83]
With only seven Ivy games in a season, the Red knows that every conference game is important.
“It’s a huge game for us,” said co-captain Lindsay Moyer. “I think its really critical for us because we’re coming off of our first loss of the season, not because I think it’s going to hurt us in anyway. I really don’t think it has and there’s not a doubt in my mind that our team isn’t going to come ready to play [tomorrow] night.”
Last year in New Haven, Conn., Cornell needed eight minutes of overtime before sophomore Belen Martinez was able to score the game-winner and secure the 3-2 victory for the Red. Hornibrook expects tomorrow night’s meeting to be equally challenging.
“We expect this to be a tough game. We never go into any game against any of our opponents thinking it is going to be easy,” Hornibrook said. “We know we’re a young team, and that we haven’t earned the respect to where when teams walk in here, they’re afraid of us.”
Yale has struggled offensively so far this season, having been outscored 18-to-5 by opponents. Yale is led offensively by center-forward Harriet Thayer, who leads the team with two goals and one assist this season.
Defensively, Elizabeth Friedlander has started all six games in the net for Yale and her performance will likely be an important indicator of the team’s success. In general, Hornibrook feels that the Bulldogs play a style similar to that of the Red, but with a more team-oriented offense.
“They play a little bit like we do,” Hornibrook said. “More than relying on one particular player, they rely on the whole team playing well as a unit as opposed to having a couple of kids who just sort of do it all.”
While similar in style, Cornell hopes that it will be able to dictate the flow of play and establish its game early on.
“It’s going to take a lot of focus for us to play our game and not fall into how they play,” said co-captain Sarah Miller. “This is a good game for us to come out and show what we’re all about.”