October 17, 2006

Field Hockey Falls to Bucknell

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It surely seems that there is nothing left to try for the field hockey team. Last night, the team dropped its seventh straight game, losing to Bucknell (5-6, 1-2 Patriot), 3-2.

As of yesterday, the Red (4-7, 2-3 Ivy) has not won in exactly a month, dating back to a 2-1 victory over Penn. Since then, the Cornell stickwomen have lost every which way, playing great defense, great offense, or both. They lost in overtime; they lost to teams that had losing streaks of 10 and four; they lost back-to-back games in which they only gave up five shots, including one where they also put up 21 shots. Monday night, however, they found a new way to lose, scoring first and actually taking a lead for the first time since that Penn game.
[img_assist|nid=18983|title=Lunging around|desc=Sophomore back Stephanie Brownstein stretches for a ball during the Red’s 3-2 loss to Towson this past Sunday at Schoelkopf Field. (Rob Ochshorn / Sun Staff)|link=popup|align=right|width=100|height=79]
Only nine minutes into the game, sophomore Abbi Horn, coming off the bench early, took the ball on a breakaway and beat Bucknell keeper Emily Groendyke for the unassisted goal. The Red’s newfound lead was short lived, though. As seems to be the case in losing streaks, once the levee breaks, the flood comes quickly.

This time, it was in the form of back-to-back goals by the Bison 30 seconds apart in the 24th minute. Bucknell netted the first goal off a scramble when Katie Urosevich tipped in the ball from the right side after it popped out from the scrum. On the ensuing restart, Bucknell got the ball back and quickly forced a penalty corner. The Bison’s Amanda Faust expertly found Trina Boyer in the middle who slapped the shot past junior netminder Lizzie Goldblatt.

That minute set the tone for the evening, as Bucknell would nearly take advantage of every opportunity it had. Out of four shots in the first half, only two were on goal, the two that went in. Going into the locker room ten minutes later, they held a slim 4-3 advantage on shots, 4-2 on penalties.

Nonetheless, the Red fought back, instead of giving in to the normal losing streak mentality. The Cornell stickwomen took charge in the second half, playing lock down defense, something the team has been successful at all year. On offense, Cornell pushed the envelope. All season, head coach Donna Hornibrook has stressed getting something out of offensive possessions, whether it be a shot or a penalty corner, instead of waiting for the perfect moment. In the final 35 minutes, the Red followed through, securing six penalty corners and six shots. On top of that, it seemed to be working. Sophomore Katlyn Donoghue, streaked down the field from her center mid spot to net her team leading third goal of the season.

Cornell was back in it, just as they had fought back to tie it twice Sunday’s game against Towson twice. Unfortunately, in losing streaks, history often repeats itself, and just as the team gave the lead up Sunday, Cornell gave it up again yesterday. Bucknell’s lone shot of the half turned out to be the game winner for the Bison, as Amanda Faust picked up her second assist of the night, sending one of only two Bucknell penalty corners of the half into the middle where Emily Hutchison beat Goldblatt. The goal came only eight minutes after the Red had tied it, and in the end, it was Bucknell who broke its own five-game losing streak.

The Red must recuperate quickly as it again hits the road next Saturday to take on Ivy foe Brown with a chance to move back to the .500 in conference.