April 6, 2007

W. Laxers Take On Green

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Don’t be envious of the women’s lacrosse team. It may be escaping the sudden blast of bitter cold weather here in Ithaca, but pastures won’t be much greener and temperatures won’t be much warmer in Hanover, N.H., where it takes on Dartmouth tomorrow afternoon. Still, after a disappointing loss to Princeton at home last weekend, Cornell (2-6, 1-2 Ivy) is looking forward to the road trip.
Tomorrow’s game marks the start of the second half of what has proven to be a grueling season. Last Saturday’s game against Princeton did not spark the turn around that the Red hoped it would. However, the squad has not spent this week dwelling on the loss, but focusing on the future, mainly its match up with the Green.
“It has been a trying and difficult season but we need to continue to support each other,” said head coach Jenny Graap ’86. “We have to focus on our effort, the joy of playing well and playing together, and not let our frustrations weigh on us.”
Dartmouth (6-3, 2-1) is currently ranked No. 16 in the nation and has the talent to back it up. This weekend’s contest is the first of four consecutive Ivy League games for the Green, who will be playing with the hope of a conference title in mind. Since the Red defeated Dartmouth, 13-8, last season, Graap feels that her team’s opponent will be out for revenge.
“There is no love lost between Cornell and Dartmouth. The fact that we beat them last year means they will be looking to repay that this year, on their home turf,” Graap said. “They are consistently a top team in the country and I absolutely expect them to play on that level and be just as strong as always.”
The Green is led by a dominant trio of scorers in senior Sarah Szefi, senior Whitney Douthett and junior Kristen Barry, who have scored 17, 18, and 19 goals respectively in eight games so far this season. In goal, Dartmouth alternates between two freshman goalies, Chelsea Kirk and Julie Wadland, who have been sharing playing time this season.
The Red isn’t showing signs of intimidation as it prepares for the battle tomorrow. The girls are sticking to the “team first” mantra that is the theme for this season. Practice this week has focused on playing tough and working hard for the entire 60 minutes, no matter the score.
“We want to be proud of our effort. Regardless of the scoreboard we want to feel we played in a way that makes us proud and represents the tradition of our program.” Graap said. “We need to fight. No one should play against the Big Red and not know they are playing a tough team.”