April 19, 2007

W. Lax Losses to Syracuse

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The women’s lacrosse team traveled to the Carrier Dome in Syracuse last night, only to be handed a 22-9 loss by the Orange, effectively stopping Cornell’s fledgling winning streak at one, and causing the team to slip to 3-8 overall.
The Orange proved just too much for Cornell, as they easily took control of the game early in the first half, jumping out to a quick 7-1 lead, then continuing to pour it on hard and fast before walking into the locker rooms at halftime with a comfortable 14-4 lead.
“They were taking it to us pretty hard,” said senior goalie Mary Montague. “I think that the biggest thing for us was communication, and figuring out how to stop them.”
Montague sat out the first half allowing sophomore Renee Hughes to guard the goal for Cornell. Hughes finished her half with nine saves, getting no rest from the ferocious Syracuse offensive line, which finished the first half with a total of 24 shots, 14 more than Cornell. Syracuse also claimed the first half advantage in ground balls won, 9-5, as well as the always crucial total of ground controls collected, 13-6.
Syracuse’s star attackers also did not disappoint the home crowd, with a total of six goals from senior midfielder Ashley Pike and four goals apiece from freshman midfielder Christina Dove and sophomore attacker Katie Rowan.
The Red has not lost to an opponent by that many goals in eight seasons.
But despite their first half struggles, the team did not surrender the contest and came out ready to play in the second half.
In the locker room at half time Montague said the team was told to brush it off.
“We just thought of the game as 0-0,” she said. “I think [Syracuse] got a little complacent, and we had to take advantage of that.”
In the second half, Cornell did indeed attempt to rally, scoring five goals to Syracuse’s eight.
The second half also saw a school record surpassed, as junior attacker Courtney Farrell set a new single-season assist record with her 29th assist of the year. Farrell, who finished the night with two goals and three assists, brought her career assist totals to 60, tying for third on Cornell’s all-time career list with All-American Allison Schindler’s 2003 total.
Cornell, who had been practicing inside this week in an effort to prepare itself for the different environment, nevertheless struggled to become acclimated with the unfamiliar venue. Traditionally Cornell plays only one indoor game a year, against Notre Dame.
“The dome is a huge field advantage,” Montague said. “It’s really hard to see the ball and it’s really hard to hear each other. The light is a lot different from playing outside.”
Even the temperature was an adjustment.
“We went from playing in a blizzard to being really hot,” she said.
Montague played the second half in goal and finished the game with a total of seven saves, including a truly highlight-reel worthy, sprawling effort in a one-on-one situation in front of the goal.
The Red will be on the road again this Saturday when they visit Yale in New Haven, Connecticut.
“It’s coming down to a sense of urgency,” Montague said. “We just want to get it done and take it to Yale hard. Every Ivy team is kind of like a rival to us.”