October 20, 2006

Red Takes On Bears

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How many times in a row can one team play well but still lose? The field hockey team hopes that the answer is only seven. The Red will hope to snap a seven-game skid as it begins the stretch run of its season with a trip to Brown tomorrow.

After back-to-back 3-2 losses last weekend, Cornell (4-7, 2-3 Ivy) is staying positive for the game.

“The team knows that it has played well,” said head coach Donna Hornibrook. “We have to take it on a game-by-game basis and take each game as a new opportunity to come out and get the result that we want.”
[img_assist|nid=19088|title=Having a ball.|desc=Freshman Carolyn Franco (left) handles the ball during the Red’s 3-2 loss to Towson last Sunday. (Rob Ochshorn / Sun Staff)|link=popup|align=right|width=100|height=82]
After Cornell began the season with four straight wins, the Red sputtered, losing the next seven. Cornell has been shut out four times over that stretch. Despite the poor offensive performances, the Red showed signs of life on the attack last weekend.

In Sunday’s loss to Towson, the Red scored twice on goals by sophomores Katlyn Donoghue and Helena Haas. The Red had numerous scoring opportunities including five second-half penalty corners. However, Cornell was unable to score the elusive third goal. After a controversial yellow card on sophomore Belen Martinez, Towson scored, giving the Red a heartbreaking loss.

On Monday, Cornell out-shot Bucknell by a nine-to-five margin, including a five-to-one margin in the second half. Despite this statistical dominance, goals by Donoghue and sophomore Abbi Horn, and an early lead, the Red dropped its seventh straight.

“In every game there has been something that has let us down,” Hornibrook said. “We have been either out-shooting our opponents or holding them to fewer shots, but it certainly hasn’t gone our way.”

One aspect that the Red still needs to improve is penalty corners, which played a factor in both the Towson and Bucknell games.

“We had some goals scored against us on corners,” said senior co-captain Lindsay Moyer. “We are normally very good at corners, so that kind of sprung up on us. We are going to focus on getting more corners and executing them.”

Cornell received some good news this week when the Ivy League named freshman defender Natalie Appleton rookie of the week. Appleton has been a vital part of the Red’s defense this year. In recent games against Maine and Towson, she broke up crucial breakaway chances.

“[Appleton] is a good tackler and an intelligent player,” Hornibrook said. “As her experience grows and she becomes more comfortable, we are starting to see what she is capable of. She has really started to step it up.”

Snapping the skid against Brown will not be easy. The Bears (7-4, 3-1 Ivy) are currently in second place in the Ivy League, one and a half games behind first-place Princeton. Brown is led by junior forward Andrea Posa, who leads the team with eight goals, tied for the Ivy League lead. The Red will also have to contain senior forward Stacy Gugliotta, who has notched five goals and two assists so far this season. Cornell will also have its hands full with junior goalie Kristen Hodavance, who leads the Ivy League with four shutouts and a 1.47 goals against average. Last year, the Bears defeated the Red, 4-2. Sophomore Alyssa DePaola and current assistant coach Blair Corcoran ’06 scored for Cornell in that game.

“This is a huge game for us in many aspects,” Moyer said. “We don’t want to lose another game … and it would be nice to win against Brown. It would be great to beat them on their home turf and come away with a win, because more than anything our team really needs it.”