October 27, 2008

Field Hockey Ties School Record for Wins

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The field hockey team remained undefeated in Ivy play on Saturday with a 4-2 victory over Brown on Warner Roof in Providence, R.I. In a season where the Red is challenging many school marks, the team tied the Cornell record for overall wins and Ivy League wins, moving to 10-4 overall and 5-0 in the conference. Brown, on the other hand, drops to 3-11 overall and 0-5 in league play.
Leading the way offensively for the Red was junior Kelley Kantarian, who tallied two goals, including the eventual game-winner, as well as one helper. Sophomore Catie De Stio recorded her team-leading eighth goal of the season, and now leads all players with 21 points. In addition, De Stio ranks in the top-5 in both goals and points in the entire Ivy League. Sophomore Sara Sanders also scored for the Red while fellow second-year Mattie Prodanovic added an assist. [img_assist|nid=33027|title=Bear hunting|desc=Junior Kelley Kantarian (16) scored two goals and registered an assist to help Cornell over Brown, 4-2.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“Catie is doing an excellent job,” said head coach Donna Hornibrook. “But really everyone out there is making important contributions that don’t show up on the score sheet. For example, [senior co-captain] Abbi Horn is one of the best defensive forwards in the Ivy League, and our middle and back players are stepping up big time. Responsibility falls upon everyone, and so far they’re all up to the task.”
Defensively, the backline surrendered just 11 shots, compared to Brown’s 20. Junior goalkeeper Melanie Jue needed just one save to pick up the victory and improved to 10-3 overall in her first season on the turf. At the other end, Brown freshman netminder Caroline Washburn kept the match interesting with 11 saves.
“I’m really pleased with our play right now as a team,” Hornibrook said. “We’ve worked really hard, and we’re playing well in all facets. The girls are so unselfish and I think they each take a lot of satisfaction in each player stepping up.”
In characteristic fashion, Sanders put Cornell on the board early in the game, sending home a rebound off a shot by senior co-captain Belen Martinez less than three minutes into the contest.
Brown responded 19 minutes later. On the Bears’ only corner of the half, sophomore Katie Hyland’s shot from the top of circle eluded Jue, and knotted the game at one apiece.
The Red regained the lead with just under 2:30 remaining in the first half. Kantarian beautifully fed De Stio a cross-crease pass to the right side, and De Stio knocked the ball past Washburn to the goal’s far corner. Kantarian then stretched the lead to 3-1 on what ultimately proved to be the game-winner at 49:25 of the second half off a pass from Prodanovic.
However, just 3:46 later, Brown sophomore Tacy Zysk cut the lead back to one goal off another Brown corner. A nifty redirection by freshman Kit Masini left an easy tip in on the left post for Zysk.
The goal sparked an otherwise dormant Brown offense, outshooting the Red 6-0 over the next nine minutes, including four penalty corners in a span of just 1:33. Cornell’s back held firm, and despite four shots taken by the Bears, Cornell refused to surrender another goal.
“Brown really put the pressure on our defense during that stretch,” Hornibrook said. “Stopping those four straight corners was definitely one of the keys to this game. The other was, of course, Prodanovic’s set up of Kantarian, which gave us the two-goal cushion.”
Kantarian went on to seal the game for the Red on her second goal of the day with :42 remaining in the match.
The victory sets up a battle of Ivy unbeaten teams next weekend on Marsha Dodson Field when the Red plays host to No. 12 Princeton.