April 14, 2008

W. Lax Takes Down Ivy Foe, Ranked Team

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Last weekend, Cornell snapped its four game losing streak with a victory over Dartmouth. Now, the Red finds itself in the midst of a three game winning streak after victories over Brown, on Friday and Stanford on Sunday.
The Red dismantled its Ivy opponent Brown by a convincing score of 17-9 in the Friday afternoon game played in Providence.
Cornell got off to a quick start against the Bears, as senior midfielder Katherine Simmons tied the NCAA record for fastest goal to start a game when she beat Brown goaltender Melissa King eight seconds into the first period. That record had previously belonged solely to Red senior attacker Courtney Farrell.
That goal sparked an early outburst for the Cornell offense, as the team got out to a 7-0 lead over Brown less than 10 minutes into the game. Freshman attacker Libby Johnson led the way for the Red, notching a career high five goals and adding three helpers.[img_assist|nid=29819|title=Watch your back|desc=Senior Katherine Simmons (14) was key in the Red’s 13-9 win over Stanford, leading the team with five points.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
All season long, the Red players had been waiting for their defense, midfield, and attack to come together at the same time. Their wait ended in the game against Brown, as all three units showed up to play.
“I think that we have really been focusing on playing as a team and getting both the offensive and defensive units playing together and connecting as one whole unit,” said Farrell. “I think that against Brown, or any Ivy league opponent, it is a huge game for us and I think we were really excited to make a statement in our league and play a game as a team.”
The Red brought its hot play back to Ithaca for its Sunday game at Schoellkopf against Stanford. The Cornell players knew that this game would be hard-fought as the Cardinal came into this game ranked No. 17 in the country.
The Red had struggled against Stanford in recent years, but not on Sunday as the Red offense maintained their scoring touch, leading to a 13-9 Cornell victory.
“I think that we were all just really excited. I know that the senior class had not beat Stanford yet in our 3 previous years year so we had a little extra motivation to go out and play really hard,” Farrell said. “We sort of shared that story with the underclassmen the night before the game. I think that they all felt what the seniors were playing and we came out and played the game as a team.”
Unlike the Brown game, Cornell got down early in this one. When Stanford led by a score of 4-1 during the first period, the Red players didn’t panic, but knew that they had to turn things around quick. Cornell stayed in the game, and with 4:13 left in the first frame, senior attacker Charlotte Schmidlapp beat Stanford goalie Laura Shane to bring the score to 6-4 in favour of the Cardinal. That goal ignited a stretch of play that saw the Red outscore their opponents 10-1.
“I think we just didn’t let it get to us,” Farrell explained. “Part of our pregame speech with one of our coaches was about answering back no matter what happens. I think that really held true.”
Simmons led the scoring for the Red on Sunday, as she posted four goals and added one assist. Sophomore attacker Kathryn Dewey contributed a hat-trick of her own, and Farrell added two goals as well in the win that helped Cornell move to 7-4 overall on the season.
Farrell believes that these two victories really proved what the Red is capable of when it plays together as a team. She hopes that the wins give the Red some energy and confidence that will help them down the road this year.
“Every victory is a great victory,” Farrell said. “It was certainly awesome to get another Ivy League win over Brown and to beat a great team like Stanford that is ranked in the top 20 in the country is a great thing for our team this year. We hope that the momentum and the way we played today carries on for the rest of the season.”