Only 12 yards separated Cornell sophomore goalkeeper Taylor Hendren and the Ivy League’s leading scorer Kathryn Moos near the end of the first half in the women’s soccer team’s match-up with Brown yesterday. With the score tied at 0-0 in the 42nd minute, referee Jesus Zornosa awarded the Bears a penalty kick on what looked like a fair challenge from junior co-captain Leslie Campbell, setting up the one-on-one between Hendren and Moos.
As Moos — who has scored 15 goals this season — approached the ball on the penalty circle, Hendren anticipated her shot and leapt left, getting her finger tips on the ball only to see the momentum of the shot carry it into the back of the net. Brown (9-3-3, 3-1-1 Ivy) would go on to dominate the second half, dismissing the Red (2-11-1, 1-4) with its second straight loss, 4-1.
“It was hard because we had been playing so well in the first half,” Hendren said of the penalty kick. “The fact that [the referee] called it so close to the end of the half was tough, but we came out really positive in the second half.”
The penalty kick was a fitting way to score the first goal in a game that was dominated by the screech of Zornosa’s whistle. In all, 33 fouls were called over the course of the game — 21 of those in the second half.
“Brown’s biggest strength is their physicality,” said senior Jessica Snyder. “We are a more technical team so we had to make some adjustments.”
With Moos leading the way, Brown’s physicality has translated to goals all season long — it leads the Ivy League in almost every offensive category — and that didn’t change yesterday.
Cornell tried all game to match the physical intensity of the Bears, but after the first goal, it all seemed to unravel.
“We tried to match their style of play,” Snyder said. “We were working very hard, but things just were not going our way. We were not getting rewarded at all for the work we were putting in.”
In the first seven minutes of the second half, Brown, ranked No. 4 in the Northeast Region, scored its second and third goals, making the game all but out of reach for Cornell. Freshman Eva Dixon would get the Red’s only goal in the 53rd minute when she took a pass from senior Whitney Hughes near the top of the 18 and struck a shot past Bears’ keeper Brenna Hogue. The goal was, as the cliché says, too little, too late as the Red only mustered two shots on goal the entire game.
Because of all the fouls called, set plays were of crucial importance in a game characterized by constant restarts — and on this day, it was Brown that was took advantage of these opportunities.
“All game we did a good job of holding them off,” Snyder said. “They got a lot of calls and they really capitalized on their chances.”
By the end of the game, the physical play had gotten almost uncontrollable and Brown’s tough style eventually wore down the Red to the point of vexation
“More than anything,” said Hendren, who started in place of injured freshman Carlyn Swensen, “it is just frustrating to play against a team like that. We did a good job of keeping our composure and not playing down to their level, but they still came out on top.”
The trip to Providence, R.I., was the last excursion for the Red this season, as the remainder of its games will be held in Ithaca, where the Red has recorded its only league victory of the season.
“Traveling is always hard,” Hendren said. “Being home will definitely help us for the rest of the season.”