October 5, 2007

Ivy Unbeaten Harvard Comes to Ithaca

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While everyone leaves campus to enjoy a short break from the rigors of Cornell, the field hockey team will stay right here in Ithaca and play one of its biggest matches of the season against a Harvard team that is undefeated in Ivy play. Before classes resume, the Red will face Colgate as well.
The Crimson is coming off a 2-0 victory against Northeastern and currently sits at 6-4 (2-0 Ivy). Its two Ivy victories came against Penn and Brown by margins of 3-1 and 4-1, respectively. The Red (6-2, 3-1) lost a close overtime game against Penn and has yet to face Brown this season.
Like the Red the last few years, the Crimson is a young team — over half of the squad is underclassmen and the roster includes only four seniors. Harvard’s offense has been as potent as Cornell’s all season, led by junior Tami Jafar and senior Devon Shapiro who have accounted for seven of the team’s 19 goals and 46 of 102 shots. The Red has tallied 21 goals but distinguishes itself more from the Crimson on defense where Cornell has given up 13 goals while Harvard has allowed 19.
Still, Harvard has seen solid net-play from junior Kylie Stone who sports a goals against average (gaa) of 1.99. Again, however, Cornell counters with a two-goalie approach of junior Shannon Prescott — who has given up 1.30 goals per game — and senior Lizzie Goldblatt, who has only allowed one goal in three games, giving her a .46 gaa.
The Red will also be tested against Colgate at the end of fall break. Colgate is 5-6 on the season and 0-1 in Patriot League play. The Raiders have faced two Ivy League opponents during their season, with a win over Columbia and most recently a loss to Princeton. The Red defeated both Columbia and Princeton this season. The Columbia win came in a close overtime game that saw junior Alyssa DePaola score her first game winner of the season adding to her career total of seven.
Colgate has an offense that relies on the power of a few, rather than the power of many, like the Cornell attack. Three Raiders’ attackers — Lauren Carey, Lauren Remkus and Katelyn Nerbonne — have accounted for 73% of the squad’s 22 total goals. The Red’s top-3 goal-scorers have tallied only 33% of Red’s total.
The biggest win of the season for the Red was its 4-3 victory against a Princeton squad that was previously unbeaten in Ivy play.
“I’m really impressed with the way the team played,” Horn said. “We’re starting to come together.”
Horn was instrumental in the victory over the Tigers with her goal in the final moments of the game that lead the Red to its first win over Princeton since 1990.
“I’ve been playing with a lot of the same players for three years now, and we are really growing as a team” Horn said.
At the beginning of the season, the coaches and captains of the Red praised the incoming freshman class for its talent and endless possibility. The freshman class has proven to be a force to be reckoned with this season.
Freshman Catie De Stio was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week last week due to her play in the Red’s victory over Princeton, which included a critical assist.
Freshman Kate Thompson was also named Ivy League Rookie of the Week earlier in the seaso,n and recently she also scored a critical assist for the Red against the Tigers.
The only setbacks of the season for the Red were its back-to-back overtime losses to Penn and Rutgers but the team has won three straight since then.