October 1, 2007

Women’s Soccer Fails to Score in Losses to Penn, Colgate

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The women’s soccer team dropped both its matches this weekend, falling on the road at Penn on Friday and at home yesterday to Colgate. Cornell (4-6-0, 0-1-0 Ivy) lost 1-0 to Penn in its Ivy League opener, while its 3-0 loss to Colgate was its first loss at home.
Though Penn (6-2-1, 1-0-0) controlled most of the play, the only goal that the Red defense conceived was a 9th minute own goal. The women were able to keep Penn’s Jessica Fuccello in check, holding her to just one shot on goal. Fucello is second in scoring in the Ivy League to Cornell’s Lena Russomagno. As a team, the Quakers outshot the Red 11-1, and earned 10 corner kicks compared to the Red’s zero.
With the loss to Penn, Cornell fell to 0-5 on the road. More importantly, the Red must now work its way back from an 0-1 Ivy League start if it hopes to win the conference. Junior defender Whitney Stich explained that though the loss hurts, the Red can still rebound in its upcoming match versus Harvard.
“Losing to Penn is tough, but it doesn’t completely kill our chances at a title. I think it’s going to hurt mentally more than anything,” Stich said.
Sunday’s match versus the Colgate Red Raiders offered no consolation. The Red’s perfect 4-0 home record was tarnished after the dominating performance by Colgate. Aside from several scoring chances that developed out of its counterattack, the Red were unable to generate consistent offensive pressure, especially in the second half.
Colgate (7-4-1) opened the scoring 16 minutes into the first half on a strike from sophomore Jillian Arnault, who received through ball and beat freshman goalkeeper Jodi Palmer to the lower right corner of the net. The teams played out the rest of the half without a score.
The Red Raiders controlled all of the midfield play in the second half. They forced Palmer into seven second half saves, hitting the crossbar once in one of its many scoring opportunities. The Red played, who played with a very direct style of play, was unable to put away any of its handful of chances to get on the board.
Stich said the team came out slow and didn’t seem to be mentally prepared to come out strong against the Red Raiders. She noted that the Red had beaten Colgate 2-0 in spring play, and expressed disappointment in the squad’s performance yesterday afternoon.
“Any time we would play a ball up, we would play it to the other team. The few times that we were able to maintain possession, we were able to generate some scoring chances,” Stich said.
The Red will have an opportunity to turn things around this Saturday versus Harvard, in its second Ivy League matchup.
“It’s important to get off to a strong start. Anything can happen in the Ivy League, and we’re looking for a win against Harvard,” Stich said.