September 12, 2008

W. Soccer Ready for Bonnies, Mountain Hawks

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After splitting a pair of games last weekend, the women’s soccer team is preparing to play its first pair of home games of the 2008 season. Cornell begins the weekend tonight against St. Bonaventure before wrapping things up on Sunday against Lehigh.
Despite losing to the Bonnies (2-3-0) last year, the Red (1-1-0) leads the overall series, 9-1-1, and hopes to add another win this weekend. Sunday’s matchup will be the first time the Red faces Lehigh, yet Cornell already has some experience against members of the Patriot League, boasting a 35-21-4 record.
Head coach Danielle LaRoche is confident that the Red’s attack will lead the squad to victories in the upcoming games.
“I think it’s an opportunity for us to be 2-0 at the end of this weekend,” LaRoche said. “In terms of at home … we’re very dangerous on the attacking side of the ball, so I think we’re going to look for our attack in our offense to lead us in these games,” she said.
Like the Red, the Bonnies are coming off a weekend split, defeating Central Michigan and then losing to Oakland. St. Bonaventure freshman Shannon Van Riper leads the offense with seven points, and sophomores Anna Cunningham and Marilyn Wargo both have a pair of goals.
Cornell’s biggest challenge could be St. Bonaventure’s goalie, sophomore Nicole Market. She has played every minute for the Bonnies, posting a 1.78 goals-against average and a .714 save percentage, including one shutout. [img_assist|nid=31643|title=Field vision|desc=The Red is optimistic about its chances to sweep this weekend, but will have to fight past St. Bonaventure’s goalie first.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Lehigh, which is coming off a loss against the College of Charleston, will play St. Joseph’s today before continuing north to Ithaca. Fortunately for the Red, the Mountain Hawks utilize a low-scoring style of play and have only scored four goals this season, with each coming from different players. Sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Mains has played every minute of the season, posting 1.18 goals-against average and a .792 save percentage.
The Red attack, on the other hand, was able to score four goals in one game last weekend. This feat was accomplished while 10 different players made their college debut. With new young players to complement the returning letter-winners, the Red’s strategy is to keep possession of the ball while maintaining its endurance.
“Although we have a small roster, we have a deep team, so part of our strategy is going to be to get fresh legs in and wear them down,” LaRoche said.