April 17, 2008

No. 18 W. Lax Offense Dominates in Victory

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It would have been hard for senior attacker Courtney Farrell to match her start to last season’s game against Loyola, but she gave it her best effort.
In 2007, Farrell tied an NCAA record for fastest goal to start a game by scoring just eight seconds into the contest with the Greyhounds. This year, the senior took an assist from classmate Amanda Linnertz and found the back of the net 11 seconds in.
“Her quickness is just exceptional,” said head coach Jenny Graap ’86 of Farrell. “Speed is a huge factor in starting that fast break. She’s been taking the draws for us. … The draw control was an area of today’s game where Cornell really dominated and I think Courtney was a big factor in the whole draw control unit. … It does come down to speed and quickness and she’s one of the quickest players in the country.”
[img_assist|nid=29940|title=Never Dowd-y|desc=Senior Noelle Dowd (6) looks to score against Stanford on Sunday. She had three goals against Loyola yesterday.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“I think Courtney is one of the best players in terms of being ready to go at the beginning of the game, she’s always prepared,” said senior co-captain Katherine Simmons. “That first shot, she’ll make 90 percent of the time.”
Farrell’s goal was the first in a game that was all Cornell, all the time. The final score was 15-6, and the only reason it was that close was because Graap pulled most of her starters towards the end when Loyola scored twice in a row.
One minute after scoring her first goal, Farrell added another point by assisting sophomore Tissy O’Connor. Farrell finished with six points on two goals and four assists. Other notable performers for the Red included senior Noelle Dowd (three goals, two assists), Simmons (three goals, one assist), O’Connor (one goal, two assists) and freshman Libby Johnson (two goals, one assist).
“Once we got the ball down the field, we definitely had trouble scoring right away on the possession because we weren’t moving the ball fast enough and we weren’t moving ourselves fast enough,” Simmons said.
Simmons also mentioned the heat as a factor that slowed the pace of the game.
“We were thinking that Loyola’s defense was going to stretch out on us more and they never really did,” Graap said. “They stayed pretty patient so we did take long possessions. There’s not a shot clock so we weren’t really rushed. … Some of our goals in the second half came after a long possession then Libby Johnson would roll to the crease or make something happen. It’s all strategic. We ran a lot of plays and we had a lot of attack possession time and that’s what allows you to dominate.”
Sophomore goalie Kristen Reese had a solid game after struggling against Stanford on Sunday, but Graap was noncommittal about her starting status.
“It’s definitely a day-to-day thing,” she said. “Kristen had a particularly frustrating showing early on in the Stanford game, then we made the switch to Renee Hughes and she played well. They’re both competing for the starting position and we rely on practice to make the decision between the two of them. They’re both very capable and we’re really lucky to have two strong goalies.”