November 3, 2008

Frustrated W. Soccer Team Falls to Princeton

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This Halloween weekend was rough for the women’s soccer squad, as Princeton gave no treats to Cornell, with Tigers’ freshman Alissa Boddie earning her first hat trick of her career.
The Cornell’s women’s soccer struggled in its matchup against Princeton, as it fell 4-0 on Saturday night at Berman Field. This loss sends the Red to 2-11-1 overall and 1-4 for Ivy League play, while the Tigers gained more momentum as they propelled to 11-2-2 for the season and 4-1-1 in Ivy League action.
[img_assist|nid=33233|title=Frustrated|desc=Sophomore captain Lena Russomagno (16) called it “frustrating” that the team couldn’t capitalize on its momentum.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Currently, Princeton is tied with Harvard and Columbia for first place, so next weekend’s game is crucial in determining the Ivy League champion and who will gain access into the NCAA tournament.
“It’s frustrating in that we went out there for the first part of the game knowing that we could dominate off our confidence from the Brown game,” said sophomore captain Lena Russomagno. “We played like we could and we moved the ball around … When they scored, we sort of went back into the mindset that we couldn’t do it.”
During the first half, the Tigers wasted little time in attempts to put a tally on the scoreboard. Boddie posted a collegiate highlight as she came onto the field attempting to earn her first career point and left after scoring a hat trick, consisting of three goals, and capturing an assist. Her first goal came with a little over 22 minutes into the first period, when she kicked a shot off the right goal post and past the Red’s freshman goaltender, Kelly Murphy.
“We have to be more mentally tough and realize that teams do come back from behind in that we need to keep pushing when things don’t go perfectly,” Russomagno said.
The Red entered the break knowing that the game was still in close contention and attempted to prepare strategies on the best formations to utilize. Yet, on the other side of the field, the Tigers were planning their next sets of attacks to launch at the Red to thrust them to a victorious lead.
“We had all the opportunity in the world to come back and we need to get back out and get ahead. We knew that the way they were playing, they were definitely a beatable team. We couldn’t let that goal get to us, so we needed to keep realizing that we were capable of doing it,” Russomagno said.
Although the Red faced a 1-0 deficit coming into the second half, it was a string of three goals that ended up causing the Red’s despair. In the first 10 minutes of the second half, Boddie scored her second goal of the night and then earned her hat trick just ten minutes later, as she intercepted a pass at the Red’s end to score a 3-0 lead. Five minutes after the Tigers goal, Boddie assisted on Princeton’s final goal, scored by senior Sarah Peteraf in the 69th minute.
“We did really well getting the ball up to the forwards and wide. We knew that was they way to position because of how there formation was. We did a really good job moving the ball around,” Russomagno said.
The main reason for Cornell’s woes was Princeton’s ability to outshoot Cornell 20-9 with the Red only having one shot on goal, which was saved by starting goaltender Alyssa Pont. Confident of winning after the fourth goal, the Tigers gave all three of its goalies an opportunity to play for a duration of the game.
Cornell’s Murphy made six saves as she started for the first 70 minutes of the game, but unfortunately allowed four goals. During the remaining 20 minutes, sophomore goalie Jodie Palmer went in to relieve Murphy and posted one save.
The Red has one more game of the season next weekend before closing out its regular season. This home game will mark Senior Day, in which the only senior on the Cornell roster, Whitney Stich, will play in her last collegiate game and be thanked for her contributions for the past four years.
“ [We need to] remember the feeling from Brown and remembering the confidence we had and that we’re able to do it and going out for our last game, having fun, and getting that win we know we can,” Russomagno said.