July 13, 2008

The Year in Review: A Look Back at ’07-’08

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Men’s Basketball
The men’s basketball team had arguably its most successful season ever, running the table in the Ivy League to clinch its first NCCA tournament bid in 20 years. The team earned several votes in the AP top-25 poll during a 16-game winning streak. Individually, sophomore Louis Dale was named the Ivy League Player of the Year and an honorable mention to the AP All-American team.

Women’s Basketball
The women’s basketball team took home the program’s first Ivy League title. With three teams tied for the best Ivy record, a playoff was held for the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The Red won the three-game playoff and got its first ever crack at the Big Dance. Although UConn dominated Cornell, 89-47, the Red saw its success pay off when junior Jeomi Maduka was named Ivy League Player of the Year.

Men’s Hockey
After late-season losses dropped the men’s hockey team to fifth in the ECAC Hockey standings, the Red still made a run to the semifinals of the ECAC Hockey tournament. The run ended against Harvard with a 3-1 loss. Freshman forward Riley Nash was named the Rookie of the Year and sophomore forward Colin Greening was a second-team All-Ivy selection.

Women’s Hockey
The women’s hockey team had one of its better seasons in recent years led by freshman Rebecca Johnston. She was a unanimous selection as Ivy League Rookie of the Year and was also named to the All-Ivy first team, the first Red player to earn the honor since 1997-98. The team’s 9-12-1 conference record was good for eighth and a playoff berth.

Men’s Lacrosse
Coming off a year in which it finished one goal shy of the National title game, the men’s lacrosse team had a decent bounce-back year after losing five All-Americans to graduation. The team earned its sixth-straight Ivy title, but broke its 14-game conference winning streak. Although Cornell was ranked in the top-10 for much of the year, it was bounced out of the NCAA tournament in the first round as Ohio State pulled the 15-7 upset.

Women’s Lacrosse
After a disappointing season, the women’s lacrosse team was back to form this year. The squad, unranked to start the season, played its way into the top-20 by knocking off several ranked opponents. It was only the third time the team had finished as high as second in its history. Senior Courtney Farrell broke the program’s all-time scoring and assists record. She finished with 213 points, and 91 assists in her career.

A young football team showed promise throughout the year, but had issues with consistency, especially on the defensive end. The team, (5-5, 2-5 Ivy) gave up 30 points per game, and was forced to make major adjustments on the offensive end after losing All-Ivy senior running back Luke Siwula for much of the year.

Despite a season riddled with injuries, the wrestling team bounced back from some early season losses at the NCAA tournament with a ninth-place finish. The Red only qualified six wrestlers for the tournament — at least two less than it has the last three years — but still wrestled to a top-10 finish.

Men’s Indoor/Outdoor Track
The men’s team finished the outdoor season with a bang, winning its sixth straight outdoor Heps title. Senior Adam Seabrook was the meet’s MVP, winning both the 400 and the 400 hurdles. The indoor season also culminated with a Heps title for the squad, as senior Muhammad Halim was named the meet’s MVP.

Women’s Indoor/Outdoor Track
The women aslo ended their season with an outdoor Heps title. It was their seventh straight, the longest streak in Heps history. Junior Jeomi Maduka was the meet’s MVP. Maduka was also the MVP of the indoor Heps meet, but the team could only take third in that meet.

Men’s/Women’s Cross Country
Led by the runner-up performance of senior co-captain Sage Canaday, the men took second at Heps. It was the team’s best finish since 1993. A young women’s squad took seventh at Heps, led by sophomore Stephanie Pancoast.

The baseball team struggled to a last-place finish in the Ivy League. Sophomore Matt Hill emerged as a staff ace, with five wins and a 4.25 ERA. He was the only pitcher with more than two wins, though. Junior Nathan Ford was named to the All-Ivy first team after an impressive offensive year.

The softball team was an offensive juggernaut this season. Every regular hit above .300, while senior Jenna Campagnolo and sophomore Ashley Garvey finished above .400. Senior Jenn Meunier was the team’s ace, going into the last weekend of the season with a 19-1 record and an ERA around 1.60. She finished 20-3 overall, with a 2.17 ERA.

Men’s/Women’s Tennis
After dropping eight of its last ten matches in a tough non-conference schedule, the men’s tennis team bounced back to win three of its last five Ivy League matches. The 3-4 overall conference record was only good for fourth, however. The women’s squad rolled through much of its non-conference schedule, winning six straight matches at one point. The success did not carry over to the Ivy League season, though, as the team finished tied for fifth at 2-5.

The volleyball team ended its run of three straight Ivy League titles this year with a fifth-place finish. The young squad, with only two seniors, struggled with consistency throughout the year, but saw some stars emerge. Sophomore libero Megan Mushovic had a great season, leading the league in digs per game most of the year. Her efforts earned her a spot on the All-Ivy first team.

Field Hockey
The field hockey team continued to make history this year, finishing second in the Ivy League for the second year in a row, both program bests. The team’s five conference wins and 10 overall wins were also program records. The team upset No. 19 Syracuse for its first win over the Orange since 1983 and first win over a ranked opponent in six years. The Red also ended a 16-game losing streak against Princeton.

Men’s Soccer
The men’s soccer team started the season off with a bang — three straight wins and nine goals. However, the offense struggled for much of the rest of the season, scoring one goal or less in 10 of the teams last 11 games. A 1-5-1 conference record was good for seventh.

Women’s Soccer
The women’s soccer team also experienced early-season success, winning four of five at one point. However, similar to the men, the offense went quiet when the Ivy season rolled around. The team lost its last nine contests, including all seven of its Ivy matches.

Sprint Football
Although the sprint football team could not match its undefeated, championship season of two years ago. The Red finished this season at 4-2 (2-2 CSFL). Perhaps the biggest win came against Army, giving the squad back-to-back wins over the Black Knights for the first time since 1986-87.

Men’s/Women’s Rowing
The men’s lightweight squad, ranked No. 1 in the country for parts of the year, came back at the end of the season to take the Ivy League championship and the squad’s third straight national title. After losing to both Princeton and Yale earlier in the season, the Red bested both, including the second-place Tigers by three seconds to take the Ivy title. The heavyweight men rowed their way into the top-10 during the season, finishing at No. 9. The team took ninth at Eastern Sprints. The women had a nice bounce-back year after switching coaches last summer. The team, ranked No. 11 by the end of the school year, finished ninth at Eastern Sprints, its best finish since 2004.

The equestrian team finished the season strong, riding to a reserve-championship berth at the Ivy League championships at the Oxley Equestrian Center. The Red crowned both individual champions as well as reserve champions. As a whole, the team often stayed in the top-3 at meets, and sophomore Zoe Samuel represented the team at Nationals in May in Los Angles, finishing 11th in the novice flat class.

The fencing team completed a successful 2007-08 season in March, placing 11th place at the NCAA championships at Ohio State, despite competing without a men’s team. Junior Alex Heiss continued to excel for the Red, placing 13th in the sabers division, with a 10-3 individual record. Cornell also fenced well at the Intercollegiate Fencing Association championships in New York, finishing in fourth, a program best.

Head coach Paul Beckwith was named USAG Coach of the Year at this year’s Nationals meet, a fitting acknowledgment for a team with seven All-Americans. The team placed second behind Texas at the USAG Nationals, setting three records in the process. The Red finished in third at the ECACs. Then-freshman Maddie Pearsall earned Rookie of the Year honors en route qualifying for the NCAA Northeast Regionals meet in the all-around competition. Pearsall was the first Red gymnast to qualify for the Regionals in 10 years.

Men’s Polo
The men’s polo team made a deep run in the playoffs, losing 20-10 to Texas A&M in the National championships in Lexington, Ky. Then-freshman Max Constant and then-junior Bobby Harvey led the team to a 15-5 record.

Women’s Polo
The women’s polo team lost in the semifinals of the Eastern Region Tournament, thus losing out on an automatic bid to Nationals. In its last match of the 2007-08 season, the squad rallied from an 8-0 deficit in the first chukker to record a 16-14 victory over the Central New York polo team. That win lifted the team to a 13-6 record on the season.

The golf team fought through wind and a tough course in Galloway Township, N.J. to finish in fifth place in the Ivy League championship. Robbie Fritz ’08 was the squad’s low-scorer, finishing sixth individually. The team totaled two tournament wins in the 2007-08 season: at Penn and Delaware in back-to-back weeks. Junior Bobby Cronheim led the team in scoring throughout the year.