April 21, 2008

Women’s Lacrosse Scores Another Upset

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The No. 18 women’s lacrosse team knocked No. 14 Yale off its mark on Saturday afternoon in Ithaca. Cornell prevailed, 8-6, on Senior Day and was carried by the contributions of the class being honored.
“This has been a really great group of seniors,” said head coach Jenny Graap ‘86. “They’re really passionate about lacrosse and they put their heart and soul into it and they’ve really done a great job leading the underclassmen.”
In addition to intangible elements the seniors bring, this game showcased statistical evidence for the seniors’ skills. Senior attacker Courtney Farrell — the team’s points leader — scored two goals to set a school scoring record. After Saturday’s game, Farrell had 206 career points — two more than previous scoring leader Jaimee Reynolds ’02. Senior attacker Charlotte Schmidlapp came up with four draw controls, senior attacker Noelle Dowd forced three ground balls and senior midfielder Katherine Simmons tallied a goal and an assist.
[img_assist|nid=30056|title=The Queen|desc=Senior attacker Courtney Farrell (11) set the Cornell record for career points with 206. Her two goals in the Red’s 8-6 win over Yale put her solely in first.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“Commitment and resiliency,” Graap said when asked for two defining qualities of the senior class. “They really had a tough year last year and they demonstrated a lot of leadership and commitment in helping us turn things around this year.”
That resiliency showed for everyone on the squad when Cornell went into halftime down 3-2. In a largely defensive affair, Yale’s goalie, senior Ellen Cameron, had already made six stops at intermission — including two eye-openers to start the game against Farrell and Dowd.
Neither team scored for the first eight minutes of the game, a run that was broken by Bulldogs’ senior midfielder Kat Peetz’s 27th goal of the year. The Red went on a 15-minute scoring drought that was eventually broken by freshman attacker Libby Johnson’s free-position shot to give the team momentum heading into halftime.
“We had a really good comeback in the second half,” Graap said. “We were shooting in the first half, we were taking a lot of shots, but we weren’t finishing on them and the Yale goalie had quite a few saves. We had to adjust a bit more at halftime regarding our offense and how we were shooting. [Sophomore midfielder] Tissy O’Connor really sparked the comeback in the second half with her two goals.”
The Red doubled up the Bulldogs, 6-3, in the second half, wtih two of those goals coming from O’Connor. She scored the go-ahead goal, then immediately afterwards took the feed from sophomore attacker Kathryn Dewey to net another goal.
Although the Red was ranked lower than the Bulldogs heading into the contest, the team ignored the published rankings and instead focused its preparation on past matchups.
“We haven’t paid too much attention to the rankings all season,” Graap said. “We went into it knowing that we had lost to Yale last year and we kind of had something to prove there and we knew that postseason chances really were on the line. We had a lot of emotion going into the game.”