March 30, 2007

W. Lax Faces Princeton

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In spite of a rocky start to what many expected to be a stellar season, the women’s lacrosse team is preparing to turn their 2-5 record around, starting tomorrow when its takes on Princeton on at Schoellkopf field. After frustrating games against Denver and Penn over spring break, the squad has diagnosed the problem and is determined to fix it.

“The thing about both of those games is that we had streaks where we completely dominated, but playing 40 minutes of a 60-minute game isn’t enough,” said senior captain Margaux Viola. “What keeps people excited is that they can see how could we could be. We just need emphasize all the great things we are doing and make everyone realize our potential by playing the entire game.”

Last year, the team shared the Ivy League championship title with Tigers, who have a 3-3 record so far this season. However, Cornell has not beaten Princeton in the last 19 straight matchups that date back as far as 1989.

“Princeton is a very talented team and they’ve played a rigorous schedule so far this spring,” said head coach Jenny Graap ’86. “Last year, we both finished 6-1. We know what kind of team this is and we are excited for the challenge.”

On a team with so many talented athletes, some on the team are wondering why a team with so much potential is having trouble pulling it together. The team has been plagued by problems with consistency and draw control, two factors that make it difficult to get possession and ultimately score goals. However, practice this week has been devoted to improving on the basics, staying positive, and playing as a team. The Red believe that if it can do this, it will be a better team regardless of who the opponent is tomorrow.

“Consistency has definitely been eluding us a little bit, but the past is the past and every day is a new opportunity,” said Graap ’86. “We just want to stick to the game plan and be feisty and gritty. We want to win the 50/50 balls because that’s what makes the difference.”

In the face of such a daunting opponent, the squad is intent on keeping their cool and staying focused on improvement. For the seniors, this could be their last chance to get a victory from the Tigers. The Red has worked hard to put the frustrating games over spring break behind them. More important than defending an Ivy League title, the team’s overarching goal is to make tomorrow the turning point and get this season going.

“Princeton is a huge game for us. This is where we want to make a mark on the season and start to turn it around,” said Viola. “There is no one else better to do that with than Princeton. This is a really crucial moment.”