October 3, 2008

W. Soccer Tries to Stop Penn’s Three-Game Win Streak

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The women’s soccer team anticipates beneficial results from staying on its home turf this weekend, hosting Penn tomorrow on Berman Field.
This will be the second game of Ivy play for the Red (1-6-1, 0-1 Ivy), and another chance for the team to improve its conference standing. Cornell is 0-1 so far in conference play after suffering a close loss in last weekend’s Ivy opener against Columbia.[img_assist|nid=32395|title=I’m takin you out|desc=Freshman goalkeeper Megan Bartlett has seen playing time for the Red in her rookie year, as the squad has suffered some frustrating losses and is 0-1 in Ivy play.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Penn (5-3-1, 1-0) is off to a strong start against Ivy competition after its 2-1 win over Harvard last weekend. The Quakers are coming into this weekend’s matchup on a three-game winning streak, with successive wins over Maryland-Baltimore County, Harvard and St. Joseph’s. Penn brings a deep team this season with nine players tallying goals to this point.
Sophomore midfielder Sarah Friedman leads the Quakers in points, and has already accumulated three goals and nine assists this season. One of her goals and two of her assists came this week against St. Joseph’s. The team is led in scoring by senior midfielder Natalie Cupuano, with four goals, and closely followed by sophomore forward Kristen Kaiser who has accumulated three goals so far this season.
Kaiser was named this week’s Ivy League Player of the Week after notching a goal and an assist in the team’s match against Harvard, and was recently selected to the SoccerBuzz.com National Elite Team of the Week. Penn’s goalkeeper, junior Sara Rose, boasts three shutouts and a .579 save average.
”They like to knock the ball around,” said junior defender Kala Neilson. “It will be a similar game to our style. They play different than Columbia.
In the series history, the Red trails the Quakers, 10-6-1. The last time the two teams faced off, Penn took the victory in a 1-0 game, but this year the Red looks to respond with a victory of its own.
“I love to play Penn,” said head coach Danielle LaRoche. “They are not one of my most favorite teams in the Ivy League. I have a personal ax to grind when we play Penn.”
The Red will be taking this game against Penn seriously, especially after Cornell upped its intensity in last weekend’s match against Colgate.
“Everybody kind of stepped up and played extra hard in the game,” said freshman goalkeeper Megan Bartlett. “Everybody and worked really hard and played really well even though we were down a player. Hopefully the effort and the intensity and working hard like we did against Colgate we take that over against Penn than we should do well against them.”
After battling the Raiders two overtimes deep, Cornell finally lost with under 20 seconds left in the contest. This heartbreaking loss was enough to boost the determination of the team even higher.
“We’ve had a bad taste in our mouth,” Neilson said. “We’re not happy with the way that game ended, and we’re going to take it to Penn this weekend, because we’re not happy with that at all. We know we could have won that game, and we’re going to come into Saturday fired up and ready to stick it to them.”