October 30, 2006

W. Soccer Blanked by Princeton

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Fighting off a barrage of freezing raindrops and Princeton shots on goal, the women’s soccer team remained unharmed until the 79th minute when Princeton’s Sarah Peteraf scored the game’s only goal en route to a 1-0 victory for the Tigers.

For most of the game, sophomore Taylor Hendren seemed unflappable in goal for the Red (3-12-1, 1-5 Ivy) as she turned away frequent scoring chances from Princeton (7-7-1, 2-4). The Tigers outshot the Red, 21-10, on the night, but Hendren’s 10 saves, the most by a Cornell keeper this season, kept the Red alive until the very end.
[img_assist|nid=19306|title=Heads up|desc=Junior Leslie Campbell (7) uses her head to clear a ball during the Red’s 1-0 loss to Princeton this Saturday on Berman Field. (Alex Teney / Sun Staff)|link=popup|align=right|width=100|height=87]
“[Hendren] had a great game in goal,” said junior Mariye Wick. “When there are bad conditions like there were [on Saturday], everyone is scrambling in front of the goal and shots can sometimes slip in. But she did a great job of reacting quickly and coming off her line to make some good saves.”

Despite Hendren’s efforts, Peteraf’s late goal, which came on a cross from Melissa Whitley, successfully sent Princeton back to New Jersey with its 11th straight win over Cornell. The game represented the eighth one-goal game the Red has played in this season — it has lost all but one of those close games.

“[Close games] have been the story of our season,” Wick said. “The difference between winning 1-0 and losing 1-0 is not very much. It’s good to know that we have been in pretty much every game we have played, but it’s hard to lose when we feel like we are playing well.”

The tough task for the Cornell defense was neutralizing last week’s Ivy League Rookie of the Week, Vicki Anagnostopoulous, who was coming off a four-goal outburst against Harvard. While Anagnostopoulous managed to fire seven total shots, she was shut out in the goals column by Hendren, junior co-captain Leslie Campbell, and the rest of the Red defense.

“[Anagnostopoulous] is a very technical player,” Wick said. “Our defense is really experienced and they did really well in keeping her in front of them. Leslie was huge, it seemed like she was always a step ahead.”

Although the defense played up to its usual tough standards, the offense had somewhat of letdown compared to Wednesday night’s offensive explosion — in the form of 5-0 victory against Albany. The Red produced too few scoring chances and ended the game goalless for the seventh time this season. The Princeton defense has not allowed a goal in its last three games.

“We kind of thought we had broken our streak of not scoring [against Albany],” Wick said. “We didn’t focus enough on how to break down Princeton’s defense and they were a much stronger team than Albany.”

Before the game, Cornell and Princeton sat in a tie for seventh place in the Ivy League. Cornell goes into its final game of the season — Saturday’s match-up with Dartmouth — in sole possession of last place.