March 31, 2008

No. 2 Princeotn Too Much for Cornell

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The women’s lacrosse team’s losing streak was extended to four games this weekend as the Red fell to No. 2 ranked Princeton, 19-10. With this loss, Cornell drops to 4-4 on the season and 1-2 in the Ivy League.
The Princeton victory pushed the Tigers’ record to 7-0 to start the season and gave them a victory in their first Ivy League game of the season. The Red players knew that they would be in for a tough matchup against a Princeton team that has steamrolled through its competition thus far.
“We know they are a good team,” said senior attacker and co-captain Charlotte Schmidlapp. “We didn’t really focus on any of their players in particular. We were focusing on ourselves and trying to improve off of our last game against Penn. On attack, we wanted to just finish all of our shots because our attack had kind of been struggling. We did that, which I think is good, but our defense kind of struggled at times.”
While Princeton does boast several offensive stars, it was the Tigers’ balanced attack that overwhelmed the Red, as six Princeton players notched at least two goals and four of them scored hat tricks.
“They have an excellent attack,” Schmidlapp noted. “They move really well as a unit. For us, we just kept losing our girls and they would capitalize on that. We let them take wide-open shots from the middle. We were giving them great looks while we had to work really hard for ours on the other end.”[img_assist|nid=29288|title=I score now|desc=Senior Courtney Farrell (11) tallied four goals and an assist to lead the Red in scoring in its 19-10 loss at Princeton|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Cornell got off to a quick start, though, putting early pressure on the favored Tigers in the nationally televised contest.
Three minutes into the game, senior attacker Courtney Farrell gave the Red an early 1-0 lead on a low shot that beat Princeton goaltender Kaitlyn Perrelle. That goal was the first mark of what ended up as a four-goal day for the Red sniper, as Farrell led the Red with five points.
Cornell maintained its hot start with aggressive pursuit and active defense until the 18:35 mark of the first when Princeton freshman Lizzy Drumm tied the game at 1-1 when she was able to break free off of a pick and beat Cornell junior goaltender Renee Hughes with a shot to the top right-hand corner. The Tigers then exploded for six more consecutive goals in the next seven minutes, to expand their lead to 7-1.
“It was really hard to try and dig ourselves out of that,” Schmidlapp said.
Cornell was able to get back on the board when senior midfielder Katherine Simmons broke the Princeton goal streak at 10:01 in the first with a free position shot. Princeton answered back and closed out the half with a 10-3 lead.
“I thought we were kind of inconsistent, which is hard for us,” Schmidlapp said. “We were gaining momentum and getting back into the game and then we let them score a couple of goals and then we were back where we started.”
Drumm, who as a freshman has been effective for the Tigers all season, led the way for the Tigers, recording five goals and an assist on the day.
“I think [Drumm] was good at getting herself open in the middle and just nailing all of her shots,” Schmidlapp said. “They worked really well around the crease and I think she was one of the players that was getting open around the crease. They just kept giving her the ball and she was scoring.”
Cornell coach Jenny Graap ’86 decided to put in sophomore goaltender Kristen Reese to begin the second half in place of the starter Hughes. Hughes had made two saves in the first half against the powerful Tigers’ attack.
“We started to make a lot of changes in the second half,” Schmidlapp explained. “We were subbing in a lot of people besides the goalies. We were looking to change things up on defense. It is hard for the goalies when we keep giving them these open shots. We didn’t really give them a chance. We were just trying to give them a different look.”
The prolific Princeton scoring continued in the second half, but Cornell found a scoring touch of its own as well. When Farrell broke loose at 17:35 of the second half for an unassisted goal, she brought the score back to 13-7. But that was as close as the game would be for the remainder of the match. The Red managed to beat Perrelle seven times in the second half, but the Tigers’ scored nine second-half goals of its own on their way to the 19-10 victory.
Schmidlapp thought that, despite the loss, her team was able to draw some beneficial lessons from the game. She explained that having all units on the field consistently playing together will be a key to the team’s future success.
“I think we learned a lot from the Princeton team,” Schmidlapp said. “They were just strong all over the field and they made a lot of smart plays that didn’t really show up on the stats sheet. Moving forward, we want our attack and our defense to play well on the same day together. … Overall, consistency will be big for our next game.”