October 27, 2008

Women’s Soccer Nets First Ivy Win on R.I. Road Trip

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The women’s soccer team traveled to Rhode Island this weekend for a series of matches, losing to Bryant before picking up the squad’s first Ivy win of the year against Brown.
After suffering a disappointing loss to Bryant (4-9-3) on Friday afternoon, Cornell amped up its energy yesterday afternoon to defeat Ivy foe Brown (5-6-4, 1-3-1 Ivy) and run its record to 2-10-1 (1-4-0 Ivy) for the season.
“We went in with a confidence in our own game that we haven’t seen much of this season and we continued to play the best we could throughout the game,” said sophomore captain Lena Russomagno. “We just fed off the fact that we had two goals pretty early on and kept going strong. … Hopefully this momentum will carry through to our last two games.”
After a scoreless game through the duration of the first half against Bryant, the Red went into the halfway break knowing that both teams had an equal likelihood of coming away with a victory. With a little over 11 minutes remaining in the match-up, Bryant sophomore Steph Del Mistro was able to hook the ball into the top of the goal and guide the Bulldogs to a 1-0 lead. The goal came after a Bryant attacker sent a shot into a crowd of Cornell defenders. Del Mistro found the ricochet and sent the ball into the top corner of the net, past the reach of the sophomore goalie Jodi Palmer.
Throughout the remainder of the game, Bryant outshot the Red, 23-5. Palmer made a total of seven saves compared to the one and two saves of senior Bulldogs’ goalkeepers Jessica Clark and Jessica Neales, respectively.
“Brown was definitely more of our target because they’re an Ivy League game,” Russomagno said, “but the Bryant game we could’ve finished if we just had enough security, we could’ve won. That fueled us for the Brown game and helped us.”
Yesterday afternoon, Cornell headed over to Providence to face the Bears for a game that ended up becoming the Red’s second victory of the season. Eight minutes into the first period, Cornell junior captain Eva Dixon fired the ball 20 yards and past Bears’ junior goalie Brenna Hogue.
After putting one point on the scoreboard, the Red was fired up and continued to show its improvements on the field, in both technique and communication.
“Because we attacked from the beginning, it gave us the momentum we needed throughout the game,” Murphy said.
With just over three minutes after Dixon’s first goal, Cornell freshman Abageal Vonderweidt scored the second goal of the game when Russomagno assisted with a crossover pass to the Vonderweidt, who sunk the ball into the goal. Vonderweidt came close to scoring a third goal, when she ran after a loose ball, causing Hogue to come out of the goal in attempts to block the ball and gave Vonderweidt another chance at striking the ball, which was saved at the goal-line.
In the first half, Cornell outshot Brown 13 to 10 with freshman goalkeeper Kelly Murphy making five saves compared to Hogue’s two saves. During the second period, the Bears increased intensity and tried putting pressure by outshooting the Red 19 to 5. Yet, the Red never relinquished its lead from early on in the game. In addition, Murphy made eight outstanding and solid saves in the second half, in contrast to Hogue’s three.
This victorious win over the Bears marked the first for many of the Red’s endeavors, including stopping its haunting eleven-game winless streak. Freshmen Vonderweidt and Murphy played their biggest game and earned their first collegiate-goal and shutout respectively. The game also marked the Red’s first “true” win on the road, when the team’s other win came when the Red defeated Oakland at a neutral site. Lastly, head coach Danielle LaRoche picked up her first Ivy League victory during her coaching caree
“We’ve been working on finishing and playing our own game. I think those two general things translate into the game. It was just the confidence level and energy level that we had all along but we just tapped into for this game. Now, that we got a taste for what we can do, we will continue on,” Russomagno said.