October 24, 2008

W. Soccer Wary of Brown, Faces Bryant for First Time Ever

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The will Red travels out of state this weekend to play two games in Rhode Island. The team will take on Bryant today and Brown on Sunday.
The Red is not entirely sure what to expect in the matchup against Bryant (3-9-3, 0-0 Northeast Conference), as this game be the two teams’ first meeting. The Bulldogs just moved up to the Division I level this season and have played powerfully so far against other Ivy League competitors.
The Bulldogs, coming off of a 3-1win over NJIT last weekend, are prepared with some impressive young talent. The team’s scoring leader is freshman forward Kaitlyn Hinck, who has scored six times this season, most recently notching the gamewinner in the NJIT match. Sophomore midfielder Sarah Donovan assisted in all three goals during the same game for a team record. Donovan is second to Hinck in points and has made three goals and five assists this season.
Byrant’s goalkeeper, senior Jessica Clark, will be a key element of the team’s tough defense this weekend. Clark holds the team record in saves, making 16 in the team’s matchup against Brown.[img_assist|nid=32954|title=Foot race|desc=Sophomore Natalie Zandt (7) races for the ball against a Buffalo defender during the Red’s 0-0 tie on Sept. 19.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
The Red is taking the Bulldogs seriously, not letting the team’s unfamiliarity to the Division I level affect how they approach the game.
“They’re a new team to Division I, but they’ve been doing really well with the other Ivies so we can’t take them lightly, and we’re looking forward to a good game and a good challenge,” said sophomore midfielder Lena Russomagno.
In the Red’s most recent matchup with Brown (5-5-4, 1-2-1 Ivy), the Bears came out on top with a 4-0 win. Brown leads the all-time series with Cornell 17-6-3, with the Red’s last victory in 2002, yet this weekend’s game will hopefully alter this record for the better.
“Last year they were really strong,” said Russomagno. “They’re really physical and fast, so I think it’s just a matter of moving the ball quickly, getting forward and, again, just capitalizing on all of our scoring opportunities.”
The Bears, coming off of a 3-0 loss to Harvard last weekend, are led by a high-scoring offensive line. Senior forward Lindsay Cunningham scored two goals in the team’s 5-0 domination of Sacred Heart last week. Also contributing to the offensive strength of the Bears are junior Melissa Kim, freshman Gloria Chun and junior Bridget Ballard — each of these midfielders picked up a goal for the team in that same game.
Junior Brenna Hogue is the usual goalkeeper for the Bears, with junior goalie Steffi Yellin also factoring into the team’s defensive lineup.
Cornell hopes to counter Brown’s aggressive scorers with its own strong offensive line to get the confidence boost it desires early on in the match.
“We tend to get confidence after we score a goal and then we go after the next one and the next one,” said Russomagno. “So, hopefully, if we score early, we can get the momentum going early.”
Mainly, the Red hopes to face each of these teams with a positive attitude and to focus on closing each of their scoring attempts without giving up any possible goals.
“We’re focusing most on coming away with two wins, playing hard, being positive, and just fighting for the win,” said junior defender Kala Neilson.