October 31, 2008

Red Goes for Two Straight Wins

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Trying to capitalize on the momentum and confidence earned in last weekend’s shutout against Brown, the women’s soccer team will use similar strategies and tactics this weekend. Cornell faces the Princeton tomorrow night at Berman Field, the Red’s second to last homegame. The Tigers are currently second in the Ivy League.
“The win against Brown has proven to us that any day of the week, we can beat any one of these teams,” said junior Elizabeth Scully, “and it has given us the boost of confidence we need going into these last two games.”
[img_assist|nid=33173|title=The X-Files|desc=Junior defender Elizabeth Scully will try and help the defense keep its shutout streak alive tomorrow.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Coming off a 2-1 loss to Harvard on Saturday and a 3-0 victory against Bucknell Wednesday night, the Tigers are looking to build on an already stellar 10-2-2 record and 3-1-1 Ivy League standing.
Princeton leads Cornell in the all-time series, 15-7-4, with the Tigers having won the previous 12 encounters, including last year’s 1-0 contest. Yet the Red (2-10-1, 1-4 Ivy) is looking to dismantle this expectation by continuing to communicate on the field with one another and working on finishing the ball.
“I definitely believe that if we played as well as we did against Brown as a team and as a defensive unit, we should have no problem,” Bonner said. “We gained a lot of confidence this past weekend against Brown. I think we doubted ourselves a little before because we were losing.”
In addition, the Red will utilize its homefield advantage, which should have a decent turnout with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee’s (SAAC) “Red Out” event, an attempt to get red-clad fans to the games of the four Cornell squads playing Princeton tomorrow. The money raised from t-shirt sales with both benefit the Ithaca Kitchen Cupbord and create a lively atmosphere for the Red to earn another Ivy League victory.
“We’re entering these last two games revitalized and ready to prove ourselves to the league,” Scully said. “Despite the fact that there’s only two games left, we have the opportunity to do something great and it’s never too late to start.”
All the different functional groups of the soccer team have been preparing extensively throughout the week, with the intentions of running various defensive formations to hinder the Tiger’s scoring abilities and allow offense to continually attack on goal. Also, with the defensive line posting its first shutout of the season, it is hoping to maintain a similar outcome for the duration of its season.
“There is no doubt in my mind that we are a very strong defensive line, and we will definitely show up to play,” Bonner said.
Besides the backline having its work cut out for it, the Red’s goalies are going to be facing one of their toughest challenges yet in the Tigers, who have scored 20 goals in 14 games. Princeton senior Sarah Peteraf leads the squad with 22 points and 11 goals and freshman Kalie Bartholomew is right behind with nine points on four goals and one assist. Cornell’s three goalkeepers, however, have combined for a 2.16 goals-against average and a .770 save percentage.
Most importantly, the Red will be looking to its offense to put points on the scoreboard early. Sophomore Lena Russomagno leads with two goals and three assists, for a total of seven points, while freshman Brook Chang has six points off of three goals.
After last weekend’s games on the road, the Red has finished traveling for the season and will remain home for the following two weeks of Ivy League play.
“I’m really looking forward to the last two games of the season,” Scully said. “I think all along the team has known that we could compete with the other teams in the Ivies, but for the first time, we have the belief that we can actually beat these teams as well.”