October 20, 2008

W. Soccer Gives Up Early Lead to Surging Bulldogs

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The women’s soccer team could not utilize its home field advantage on Saturday and fell to Yale, 3-1. While the Red (1-9-1, 0-4 Ivy) has been largely unsuccessful in Ivy play, the Bulldogs (7-5-1, 2-2) have been on the rise, winning their last two games.
In the first half, Yale wasted no time in setting up the ball and attempting to get an early lead. In the 17th minute, Bulldog sophomore Becky Brown passed a nice cross to the left side of the field, and freshman Miyuki Hino finished the play to score Yale’s first goal of the day.
Despite Yale’s goal, the Red stayed close to the Bulldogs, scoring four shots on goal compared to the Bulldogs’ six. In addition, freshman goalie Megan Bartlett made two superior saves, which helped minimize Yale’s lead to only one goal.[img_assist|nid=32791|title=Catch me if you can|desc=Freshman Brook Chang (center) dribbles down Berman Field against Yale, scoring the Red’s only goal Saturday.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“We played well as a team, and everything we have been working on in practice showed up in the game,” said sophomore captain Lena Russomagno. “Our organization was good, we scored a goal, we fought hard the whole game.”
Cornell could not execute during the first-half and entered the second period with an eagerness to cut down on Yale’s lead. The Bulldogs, however, refreshed from the break, did not waste any time and scored their second goal of the night within two minutes. Senior Emma Whitifield followed through on a pass from fellow classmate Maggie Westfall, sending the ball into the lower right quadrant of the goal.
Eight minutes into the second period, sophomore Cristina Law outmaneuvered her opponent in a zigzag path by running the ball down the left side of the field before cutting to the middle. Law’s shot on goal got Yale sophomore goalkeeper Ayana Sumiyasu to move out of position.
Freshman Brook Chang rebounded the shot into the goal before the goalie was able to recover.
“Although we’re happy with our improvement, we still need to do more to come out with a win,” Law said.
Yale continued to put pressure on Cornell’s defensive line throughout the duration of the game and ended up outshooting the Red 15-4. Yale also had an 8-0 advantage on corner kicks. Cornell’s last line of defense against this offensive onslaught was Bartlett, who served well in this role and totaled seven saves on the day.
In the last two minutes of the game, Yale seniors Whitifield and Westfall joined together and scored another goal, leading to the final score of 3-1.
“We also realize that playing well isn’t enough,” Russomagno said. “I think often we don’t give ourselves enough credit to realize that we can compete with and beat every team we play against. Once we start communicating on the field and capitalizing on every scoring opportunity, I think we will be where we want to be.”
Even though the Red couldn’t capitalize on a victory this past weekend, it looks forward to it upcoming matchups to snap its losing streak.
“I think [Saturday] was a tough loss and we definitely wish it would have gone the other way, but now we can only learn from our mistakes and move forward. We need to take the positive things from this game and carry them into the next game to work towards coming away with two wins next weekend,” Bartlett said.