March 12, 2007

Women’s Lax Suffers Road Loss to Hofstra

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In an unfortunate flashback to last week’s loss against Notre Dame, fouls and draw controls helped contribute to the Red’s third loss in four games, as Cornell was defeated yesterday afternoon by Hofstra, 13-8.

The two teams seemed fairly well matched in the beginning, with a quick 2-0 Hofstra lead neutralized by two Cornell goals in a little over one minute.

For the next couple of minutes, play was back and forth, with no team really getting the upper hand. Then the Big Red scored two goals in a row — by freshman attacker Kathryn Dewey and junior attacker Courtney Farrell — to take their first lead of the game at 5-4.

But Cornell’s first, and last lead was to be short-lived. Hofstra came back three minutes later to tie, and by halftime the home team added two more goals to go into the locker rooms winning by two, 7-5.

At the start of the second half, the Red got on the board first, and then stayed within one goal for the next three minutes.

But then Hofstra broke loose for 5 unanswered goals over the next ten minutes, making it a 13-7 game midway through the half. This lead would prove insurmountable despite a tremendous defensive effort on the part of Cornell, that shut out Hofstra for the remainder of the game. Senior Mary Montague finished the game in goal. Combined, Montague and sophomore Renee Hughes had ten saves, five ground balls and two caused turnovers, a worthy effort, given the fact that Hofstra fired a total of 31 shots on goal.

A large goal deficit like that can be very hard for a team’s morale.

“It creates a definite shift in momentum,” senior co-captain Margaux Viola said. “We lost a little bit of confidence. [Five unanswered goals] hurt … And really, our defense had some great stops, but we had a lot of trouble transitioning it out and getting [the ball] up to the offense.”

Senior midfielder Noelle Dowd would score with less then eight minutes left off of an assist by senior attacker Lindsey Moore, but it was far too little, too late.

On Cornell’s side, sophomore Jessica Wiegand had a career day, scoring three goals, and Farrell scored two. But no other Red player scored more than one point and Cornell was out shot by Hofstra 31-23.

Cornell was unable to stop Hofstra’s senior midfielder Casey McGrath, who scored a total of six goals, nearly as many as Cornell’s offense combined, as well as finishing the game with one assist. McGrath took advantage of her free-position opportunities, converting four of five.

Hofstra also had the advantage in the important draw control column, wining twenty-three to Cornell’s fifteen. The difference was even more apparent in the second half, when Hofstra dominated, taking eight of ten.

“I think that a hue factor was draw control,” Viola said. “It really hurt our possession time.”

Fouls were another factor in the loss, especially in the last thirty minutes of the game, when Cornell committed eleven fouls to Hofstra’s three.

Overall, this second loss in a row for Cornell represents an opportunity for the team to sit down and figure out what needs to be changed. There are fourteen games left in the season, including their season-opener for Ivy League play next Saturday at Columbia.

“It calls for a huge re-evaluation and a reflection individually of what’s going on and also as a team,” Viola said. “We need to pick apart the actual details as well as the big picture. It’s not huge changes that we need, it’s pretty much a change in mentality.”

But, she added, “this does not change the goals of the team. We know we have the talent, and the ability.”