October 6, 2006

Cornell Looks to Snap Skid

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Most Cornell students will be basking in the joy of a weekend that’s twice as long as usual in the next four days, but the field hockey team will have to be on its toes as it faces two foes this weekend in Cambridge, Mass. The Red will take on Harvard on the Crimson’s home field Sunday afternoon before returning to Jordon Field on Monday to face off against Maine.

Although the Red (4-3, 2-2 Ivy) enters the weekend riding a three-game losing streak, Harvard (0-10, 0-2) is still looking for its first win of the season. In its most recent outing this past Wednesday, the Crimson suffered a 2-0 loss to visiting Northeastern.
[img_assist|nid=18812|title=Stick with it|desc=Junior attack Lizzie Auer (15) moves the ball under pressure from an opposing defender during a game earlier this season. (Ryan Dunn / Sun Staff)|link=popup|align=right|width=100|height=96]
Last year, when these two teams met on Schoellkopf Field, Cornell came away with a tight 2-1 victory over Harvard. Blair Corcoran ’06, now an assistant coach for the Red, and sophomore Mandy Malzberg each had a goal in the victory, while junior Lizzie Goldblatt tallied three saves on the day.

Harvard out-shot Cornell while taking the loss last season but has struggled offensively this year, having been outscored by opponents 24-6 and out-shot 147-54 by its opponents in 13 games this season. Junior Devon Shapiro, who has notched a pair of goals, is the only player on the Crimson to have scored more than once this year, while Harvard has four other players with one goal each.

Defensively, sophomore Kelly Noche has weathered most of the storm in the net this year, starting eight games for the Crimson. Noche has allowed 18 goals while making 62 saves in the games she has played.

After facing off against Harvard on Sunday, Cornell will take the same field again on Monday to play Maine for the first time in four years. The Black Bears have struggled early in their season, posting a 3-8 (0-1 America East) record so far.

After winning 3-of-4 to start its season, Maine dropped its next seven games. The Black Bears’ most recent loss came at the hands of Albany, as the Great Danes shut Maine out for a 3-0 victory. Maine has scored only one goal in its last four games.

In the two teams’ inaugural meeting in 2002, the Black Bears came away victorious, shutting out the Red, 1-0, despite Cornell’s 18-6 advantage on shots in the match.

Maine will look to sophomore forward Nicole Emery, who leads the Black Bears with five goals and one assist this season. In the cage for Maine, junior Rebecca Giroux has seen the majority of playing time, making 61 saves while allowing 19 goals.

Cornell is coming off a heartbreaking 6-0 loss to Princeton last weekend, in which all of the Tigers’ goals were scored in the final 20 minutes of play. Cornell will look to get on the board early against its opponents this weekend, as the Red has yet to win a game this season in which it has failed to score first. In spite of its recent struggles, Cornell has seen solid offense production from a variety of sources this year, with 10 players tallying at least one point for the Red.