October 10, 2007

Field Hockey Stunned at Home by Harvard in Overtime

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The field hockey team played an inspired 70 minutes of regulation time, staying neck-and-neck with league challenger Harvard.
It jusr wasn’t enough to win the game.
Cornell (6-3, 3-2 Ivy) fell to Harvard (7-4, 3-0) in a 3-2 overtime loss on Sunday, vaulting the Crimson atop the Ancient Eight. This marks the second consecutive year that the Red lost to the Crimson in the first minute of overtime.
Crimson co-captain Jana Berglund stopped the ball off of a penalty corner in the 71st minute and fed it to co-captain Devon Shapiro, who rifled the ball into the back of the net.
The legion of diehard Red fans sat stunned as their team walked off the Schoellkopf stadium field. The game-winning goal was Harvard’s only lead in a contest in which the Red opened up two one-goal leads earlier in the match.
The first half was a defensive struggle. The Red staved off three consecutive penalty corners in the 28th minute and one with no time remaining to hold Harvard scoreless heading into the break.
On offense, Cornell looked to have a breakaway in the 32nd minute, only to have a questionable high ball penalty stop the attack. The call sent the Red sideline and the raucous fans into a chorus of boos. As a result, both teams were scoreless at the half.
The two offenses heated up under the afternoon sun, however, in the second half. Within a six-minute period, a barrage of three goals made the score at 2-1 in favor of the Red.
Freshman midfielder Kate Thompson began the assault with an unassisted goal, to put the Red on the board first.
Five minutes later, Harvard struck back as midfielder Kristin Bannon received a perfectly placed ball from Shapiro to tie the game up.
But the Red didn’t waste any time in grabbing the advantage yet again. Red star attacker, junior Alyssa DePaola took classmate Brenna Gulotta’s pass and laced the neon orange ball into the back of the net in the 47th minute.
The goal put Cornell up, 2-1. Harvard pushed the ball forward and misdirected several potential game-tying shots.
The Red defenders swarmed the Crimson attackers, consistently placing themselves between the net and the ball. Martinez even took a hard shot to the knee while protecting the goal. Down for a few minutes and surrounded by her teammates, Martinez got up and gingerly walked off the field.
“The ball hit me in the knee, but I’m Ok,” she said. “It’s just a bruise. That’s all it is.”
In the 58th minute, Harvard scored to tie the game at 2, setting the stage for the Crimson’s overtime win.
“It was a devastating loss for us, but the coach [Hornibrook] told us just to shake it off,” Gulotta said. “We have a couple weeks until the next league game, and we always need to be ready to play.”
Up next for the Red is today’s home game against local rival Colgate. The women will be looking to avenge last year’s double-overtime loss at home to the Raiders on Oct. 10. Although Colgate holds a slight 17-15-3 lead in the all-time series, the teams have traded victories for the past two years with each squad winning on its respective field.
“It will be a good game. I can assure you of that,” Martinez said. “We need to get back up and make up for this weekend.”
Junior fullback Belen Martinez appreciated the fan support, despite the shocking loss.
“It’s great to see our parents, all the other athletes and fans coming to cheer us on,” she said. “We’re not just representing field hockey, we’re representing our school. It’s just an honor to be out there playing.”