October 13, 2006

Field Hockey Seeks to Regain Winning Form

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What is the best remedy for a losing streak? For the field hockey team, this weekend might be just what the doctor ordered as it faces an opponent with a losing streak of its own.

The Red (4-5, 2-3 Ivy) will look to snap its five-game losing streak when it hosts Towson (7-7, 1-3 CAA) on Sunday, as the Tigers are struggling through a four-game skid of their own. Head coach Donna Hornibrook sees the significance in snapping the skid this weekend.

“[Breaking the losing streak] is very important,” Hornibrook said. “We feel like we have played really well but unfortunately things haven’t gone our way.”

Last weekend the Red lost two heartbreaking 1-0 games to Harvard and Maine. The Harvard game was decided in overtime when Harvard senior Gretchen Fuller knocked a shot out of the air and into the net. The Maine game was statistically dominated by the Red, who out-shot the Black Bears by 16 shots.

“Monday [against Maine] was by far our best game of the entire season, even though we ended up losing 1-0,” said senior co-captain Lindsay Moyer. “We completely dominated Maine and played our best game.”

Hornibrook was also encouraged by the effort last weekend against Harvard and Maine, especially on the defensive end.

“Last weekend we gave up five shots each game, which is pretty low,” Hornibrook said. “We generated some really good attacks … and to give credit where credit is due, the Maine goaltender was outstanding. We had some deflections that went wide around the post and we were a bit unlucky.”

Cornell’s losing streak comes after the Red won its first four games of the season. After that four-game winning streak, the Red has struggled, scoring only two goals during the current skid. The offense, led by senior Sarah Miller and sophomores Brenna Gulotta and Alyssa DePaola, needs to get on track in order to turn things around.

“The past couple weeks, we have focused more on our defense and midfield, and during our games last weekend, you could tell that it was more of a defensive mindset,” Moyer said. “This week so far, practice has focused on everyone being on attack, not just the forwards. … We have the other keys worked out, but we need that important one, which is getting the ball in the back of the cage.”

Something will have to give against Towson, however, as either the Tigers or the Red will be able to reverse its recent fortunes this weekend. The Tigers have not been the same since standout freshman forward Christina Boarman injured herself against Northeastern, as the team has not recorded a victory since then. Boarman is still the team’s leading scorer, notching six goals and four assists in her rookie campaign. The Tigers will have to rely on junior forward Kajee Murangi, who has six goals and one assist this year.

“Towson has played some tough teams on their schedule and have competed very well against them,” Hornibrook said. “They had a one-goal loss to Northeastern, which is a nationally-ranked team, and to James Madison, which is another quality team.”