November 7, 2008

Red Needs a Win to Keep Alive Title Hopes

Print More

The fat lady hasn’t sung yet for the field hockey team. Tomorrow’s game on Marsha Dodson field will be the last of the season and is make or break for the Red in terms of the Ivy League final rankings. After a tough loss to Princeton last week, the Red face third-ranked Dartmouth with a possible Cornell championship is on the line.
Cornell must win tomorrow, and Princeton must lose in its final game against Penn today, to earn the title. By the end of the day today Cornell will know at least part of what its future holds. If the Tigers win, the Red is guaranteed at least a share of second place. But regardless of stats and final rankings, the team is hoping to finish out the season with a win.
Dartmouth has been especially strong this season. They have arguably improved the most, year for year, of any team in the Ivy League. Last year the Green was tied for dead last, only winning one game against the Ancient Eight, and only six overall. But this year the Green has stormed back and sits at third in the Ivies with a 4-2 record and strong statistics.
Freshman Kelly Hood has been the offensive drive behind the Green’s performance. She and Princeton’s star freshman Katie Reinprecht have stormed the league as rookies. Hood is tailing Red senior Belen Martinez, however, in both shots and shots per game for the league. Martinez is the one to look out for. What Dartmouth hasn’t shown is the ability for many people to score, unlike the Red who have offensive might from all sides of the field. [img_assist|nid=33388|title=Not messing around|desc=Senior defender Belen Martinez (21) intimidates a Penn defender during a 3-1 win on Sept. 20. Martinez must continue as one of the Red’s key performers in order to beat Dartmouth.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“We’ve got a variety of people who can put the ball in the net,” Hornibrook said. “To be successful in any game, people have to step up, and on this team they do.”
Whether the Red has truly recovered from last week’s heartbreaking loss to Princeton remains to be seen. The team has shown in the past it is more than capable of leaving the game on the field. Hopefully, it will be able to focus on the present and not dwell on what might have been.
“We have several sophomores that contribute a lot, we’ve got a talented senior class, we’re just really balanced across the board,” said junior Katie Kirnan.
Expect the game to be close, as many Ivy games have been this year. The Red has had its share of games decided by one point, and most of them have been decided ultimately in Cornell’s favor. If another one-goal game is to happen tomorrow, junior goalkeeper Melanie Jue will be the first one to feel the pressure. But Jue has been on fire for the Red this year, and her goals against average is topped only by Princeton sophomore Jennifer King.
According to Jue, it’s those one-goal games that are the toughest mentally.
It’s been a tough battle in the Ivy League, and though championship hopes were dimmed somewhat after last weekend, don’t count this Red team out yet.