November 7, 2008

Red Hosts Green at Berman in Final 2008 Contest

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Coming into the final stretch of the season, the women’s soccer team is hoping to end the season on a winning note as it faces Dartmouth tomorrow afternoon on Berman Field. This will be the final opportunity for this team to play together, as senior Whitney Stich will play her last match for the Red tomorrow.
Although the Red (2-11-1, 1-5 Ivy) lost its matchup last weekend against Princeton, the squad is hoping to utilize the strategies and tactics that it learned this season and apply them to the last game of the season.
“This year has gone by really fast,” said sophomore goaltender Jodi Palmer. “I think we have learned so much about playing as a team and what it is going to take to be successful next year.”
In addition, Dartmouth (7-6-2, 1-4-1) is coming off an exhausting game last weekend against Harvard, as neither team could overcome the 1-1 score, despite two overtimes. The tie came at the heels of a 3-1 loss at the hands of Columbia. The Red will try to exploit the Green’s exhaustion and put a tally on the scoreboard early into the game.
“I feel like we have been working really hard this week to prepare,” Palmer said. “We have worked on being more agg­ressive and it has been show­ing more and more as the week has gone by. I think it will really help us on [tomo­rrow].”
Unfor­tunately for the Red, the Green leads the all-time series 16-7-5, with Dartmouth winning the previous 11 contests, including last year’s 3-1 matchup. [img_assist|nid=33381|title=Catch me if you can|desc=With two goals and three assists, sophomore forward Lena Russomagno (16) is one of the Cornell offense’s leaders this year. She and the Red have one more game to play in 2008.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Hoping to overcome this statistic, Cornell is looking to continue its communication on the field, among the goalie, the defensive line and the forwards to ensure that Dartmouth will have to work to get an opportunity to take a shot on goal.
“We are going to go out and play the style we always do,” Palmer said.
Since Dartmouth isn’t the most technical skilled team Cornell has played this season, the Red is planning on using its same formation of play to counter the competitive mindset of the Green.
Freshman Brook Chang leads the Red in scoring goals with three goals this season, for a combined six points, while sophomore Lena Russo­magno has accumulate seven points from two goals and three assists. In goal, Palmer posts a 1.90 goals-a­gainst ave­rage and a .750 save percentage.
On the other hand, Dart­mouth has had 11 different teammates score goals this season for a combine 21 goals in its 15 games of the season. The Green’s senior goalkeeper, Laurel Peak has an impressive record of playing every minute this season and has posted a 0.94 goals-against average and a .839 save percentage. She has recorded five clean sheets. Also, juniors Myra Sack and Kelsey Quick, lead Dartmouth in scoring, with both players having 10 points on three goals and four assists.
Sadly, this game will also mark the end for captain and lone senior Whitney Stich’s collegiate soccer career. Before the game, she will be recognized and honored for all her contributions over the past four years to Cornell’s women soccer program.
“I think this game for Dartmouth will determine our starting point for next season,” said freshman defender Sidra Bonner. “If we come away with a win, it will provide some momentum and confidence that we can carry into the off season and into next fall. Dartmouth is a pretty physical team that fights until the end, so ultimately the tougher and hungrier team is going to win [tomorrow].”