September 22, 2008

With Six Missing, Women’s Soccer Drops Two

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Unfortunately, the women’s soccer team could not utilize home field advantage and went without a win this weekend, battling Buffalo to a scoreless tie before losing, 2-0, to Maine yesterday.
“We fought hard,” said junior forward Eva Dixon. “We have some things to work on this week. I think we were a lot more intense on Friday and we needed to come out that way in [the game against Maine] and we just didn’t have it.”
Cornell (1-4-1) faced a tough challenge Friday against an unbeaten Buffalo (4-0-2) squad. The Red’s efforts fell short in a heart-wrenching game. In the first half, the Bulls outshot the Red 11-3, but sophomore goaltender, Jodie Palmer, made several crucial saves to keep the game scoreless. Both teams played evenly throughout the second half and deep into overtimes. After 90 minutes of regulation and two overtimes, neither team had tallied a goal, and the game ended as a scoreless tie.
“It’s just so frustrating because we have the talent,” Palmer said. “These girls are great, we just need to put it together and we haven’t been able to really do it. We have just as many shots as they have and we’re even across the board on all the stats but we just can’t finish it.”
While the Red would have preferred a win, the Bulls failed to utilize their advantage in shots on goal. Overall, Buffalo had 25 shots on target to Cornell’s 15, but was not able to connect. A large reason for the Bulls’ futility was Palmer’s eight saves, including two during the second overtime.
“In the first game, maybe we had more energy, because it was a Friday game,” Palmer said. “I think we’ll bounce back. All we need to do is come out at practice this week and work hard.”
Yesterday, Cornell tried to forget about the disappointment on Friday, but still couldn’t get past Maine (3-1-4). Eleven minutes into the first half, Maine senior Christine LaBelle ran down the left side of the field and buried a shot aimed at the far post.
“I think because we got scored on early, our momentum just went down and I think that it just changed the whole game, the whole style we played,” Palmer said.[img_assist|nid=31968|title=Feet first|desc=Junior attacker Emily Kuhn (17) dribbles during a 2-0 loss Sept. 12, 2008 against St. Bonaventure.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Palmer, with three saves in the first period, kept the game close, but the Black Bears got an additional goal in the second stanza. In the 74th minute, Black Bears junior Veroinque Fleury took advantage of a loose ball off a throw in and scored an insurance goal, bringing the final tally to 2-0.
Even though the Bears’ came out with the victory, the two teams were statistically equal. Maine put 11 shots on goal while Cornell countered with 10. The Red even had two more corner kicks, but wasn’t able to capitalize on any of them.
Since the Red hasn’t scored in the past five games, head coach Danielle LaRoche is working with the team on visualizing scoring goals. She plans to focus this upcoming week on simpler training methods to rebuild the team’s confidence.
“We definitely took a step forward on Friday with the shutout, playing with a lot more energy, kind of taking it to Buffalo,” LaRoche said. “[Against Maine] we weren’t there. There was ,nothing about this game that showed what we couldn’t do. I think we lacked so much energy.”
With six girls sitting out this weekend because of illness or injury, the Red bench was drawn thin. Fatigue played an undeniable role in the outcome of the games this weekend, with only four substitutes on Friday and three yesterday.
“I think those six that sat out [this weekend] will be ready to go back on Friday,” LaRoche said. “All those girls back on the field are going to make a big difference. Friday is going to be a totally different team with those six being able to play.”