October 1, 2007

Field Hockey Scores Four, Beats Tigers for First Time Since 1990

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It hasn’t been done in 17 years. But that didn’t stop the field hockey team from staging an improbable comeback this weekend when it defeated the heavily favored and league-leading Princeton Tigers.
“We’re really excited about the win,” said junior Abbi Horn. “I’m really happy with the way the team played. We’re starting to learn from each other and trust each other. We’ve finally learned to take it to the next level.”
The odds were definitely stacked up against the Red. Cornell was out-shot 22-13. They were down 2-0 at halftime. And it hasn’t beaten Princeton since 1990. But all of that didn’t matter when junior Abbi Horn scored the final goal that gave the Red a long awaited 4-3 victory.
“I’m pleased with the way I played,” Horn said. “But I’m more impressed with the way the team came together.”
The Tigers — who came into the game with an undefeated Ivy record — showed their strength in the beginning by gaining a 2-0 lead going into the half and dominating the Red with a hefty advantage in penalty corners and shots.
The Red, however, came out firing in the second half.
Senior Katie Bradshaw scored the first goal for the Red right out of the gate. This was Bradshaw’s first goal of the season and it shifted the momentum in Cornell’s favor.
Junior Mandy Malzberg scored the game-tying goal for the Red and freshman Kate Thompson was credited with the assist.
Junior Alyssa DePaola continued her strong play this year when she gave the Red its first lead after getting the assist from freshman Catie De Stio.
It looked like the Red might be able to coast to the victory but with only five minutes left the Tigers tied the game with a goal from Holly McGarvie.
The Red did not let the goal set it back. Instead the women regrouped and Horn took over the game by scoring her first goal of the season with time running out.
“We were really able to stay focused on what we needed to do,” Horn said. “It’s helping us turn close games into wins.”
Junior Shannon Prescott was able to keep the Red in the game after having another impressive day in goal as she stopped eight shots compared to the three stopped by Princeton goalie Cynthia Wray.
This has been a remarkable season so far for the Red, who now improves to 6-2 (3-1 Ivy).
Next it will host a strong Harvard squad who is coming off a two-game losing streak against Vermont and Providence but still has a 5-4 (2-0 Ivy) record.
“Harvard is a very good team,” Horn said. “We just need to worry about playing our own game. If we do that then we believe that we’ll do well against them or any opponent we face.”
The Red’s outlook throughout the season has stayed the same. “We want to improve after each and every game,” said head coach Donna Hornibrook. “We will be a good team if we’re able to do that and stay focused on one game at a time.”