September 29, 2008

Women’s Soccer Suffers Tough Losses on the Road

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The women’s soccer team fell in its two away matches this weekend — to Columbia on Friday, 3-1, and to Colgate in yesterday’s heartbreaking 3-2, double overtime loss.
On Friday, the Red (1-6-1, 0-1 Ivy) lost its Ivy League opener, 3-1, against Columbia in New York, N.Y. The Lions (5-2-1, 1-0) had the more productive offense, with 20 shots on goal to the Red’s nine.
[img_assist|nid=32168|title=Two heads are better than one|desc=Junior defender Kala Neilson (right) scored against Colgate yesterday, but the Red dropped the match in double overtime, 3-2.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Columbia had an aggressive style of play and scored on the Red about midway through the first half, as Lions freshman Liz Wicks scored with a point blank shot after catching a rebound from freshman teammate Nora Dooley. Columbia’s second goal came shortly after the start of the second half when junior Sophie Reiser was assisted by freshmen Ashlin Yahr and Marissa Schultz.
“We focused on settling the ball and playing our feet to control the play,” said junior forward Eva Dixon. “We play a possession style game whereas Colombia played a kick-and-run style of play.”
Cornell responded with its goal toward the end of the second half, as freshman forward Brook Chang scored her second goal of the season. She got the goal off the corner far post after a pass from Dixon. Only about five minutes later, the Lions fought back with another goal, this time by junior Ashley Mistele.
“We battled back and Brook Chang was able to put a goal in for us with about 10 minutes left to play,” Dixon said, “but in our pursuit of the tie to take the game into overtime, we got scored on with just a few minutes left.”
Throughout the game, the Red kept fighting with a strong defense. Sophomore goalkeeper Jodi Palmer made a total of nine saves during the game, beating her previous record of eight saves set in last weekend’s matchup against Buffalo.
“On the field, things that happened were great,” Palmer said. “We just had some errors that cost us the game. Overall we played well, but I think there were little things that we need to work on.”
The Red was aggressive from the start of the game against Colgate (3-6-1) yesterday, scoring two goals in the first half off corner kicks. The Red’s junior defender Kala Neilson and sophomore defender Cristina Law each scored a goal, and sophomore midfielder Lena Russomagno aided with two assists. Neilson drove the ball past Colgate’s freshman goalkeeper Rebecca Michlin after an assist from Russomagno to score the first goal of the match just five minutes into the game.
The Raiders then tied up the score about three minutes later when sophomore Anna Baldwin caught a deflected cross near the empty goal and tapped it in. The Red came back with another goal in the 21st minute of the first half, taking back the lead. Russomango passed the ball to Law, who headed the ball, which then deflected off the head of one of the Raider’s defenders before successfully passing into the net.
Freshman Kelly Murphy started in goal for the Red, making three important saves, and was then relieved by freshman Megan Bartlett for the second half. Bartlett had some crucial saves early in the second half, making a total of eight saves for the Red, and stopped a header off of a corner kick five minutes in. Yet, the Raiders came back in the second half to tie up the score again, when, in the 55th minute, Colgate junior Jessica Bitsack scored into Bartlett’s goal on a breakaway shot.
Sophomore Red defender Katie Hayes was awarded a foul toward the end of the second half, forcing Cornell to play the remainder of the game with only 10 players.
The two teams went into two overtimes before the Raiders grabbed the victory with 20 seconds left in play. Raiders junior Jillian Arnault made it past Bartlett’s defense, sending the ball into the left corner of the goal.