February 27, 2009

W. Lacrosse to Host Rutgers, a True Test for Young Team

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After a successful season opener against Colgate on Wednesday, the women’s lacrosse team will remain on its home turf to host Rutgers tomorrow.
“We were all really excited to get our first win and get the first-game jitters out of the way before our second bigger game,” said freshman midfielder Shannon McHugh.
Rutgers (1-0) played its own first game of the season this week as well, defeating Temple, 16-9, on Wednesday. Last time Cornell (1-0) came up against the Scarlet Knights, the Red won, 10-6. Cornell leads the overall series against Rutgers 11-1-0.
“We know that Rutgers is going to be very athletic. They’re quick and they had a really nice win yesterday against Temple,” said assistant coach Suzie Friedrich.
Offensively, Rutgers is led by junior Brooke Cantwell, who came away with 36 goals and 13 assists last season. Cantwell started her season strong, scoring four goals in Wednesday’s game. Junior Meghan Flanagan is also a player to watch out for, as she led the team in assists last season and delivered seven assists in the win over Temple.
The Scarlet Knights also bring some impressive new talent with them. Freshman Annie McGinley scored four goals for Rutgers in her first collegiate contest.
In goal for Rutgers, Sandra Abel completed a career record number of saves last season with 163, and posted a .477 saves average.
After a successful opening match, Cornell is prepared and confident to take on Rutgers. The team is working on smoothing out any initial kinks and is ready for the challenge.
“Being that today was our first game [Wednesday], I think that we had to get a lot of our anxieties and jitters out,” said sophomore defender Cara Grealy. “We know what we have to fix and what things we did wrong today. Hopefully we’ll be able to fix them for Saturday’s game and kind of put everything together. Since we got our first game out of the way, hopefully we won’t be as anxious and we’ll play maybe a little better than we did today.”
The Red is planning to focus on blocking Rutgers’ strong offensive line during the match, as the Scarlet Knights are known to be quick in passing and scoring.
“We have a pretty experienced defense and we’re pretty much going to stick to our game plan which is high pressure and denying the cuts,” Friedrich said. “But we’re going to try to throw in a few twists and maybe pressure them a little bit more than they were pressured in their first game, see if we can cause some turnovers. So we’re just going to try to create a little more chaos in their lives.”
Most importantly, the Red plans on staying in control and not letting Rutgers dictate the pace of play, so that the team can come out of the game with another win.
“Whenever we play them, it’s always a close game,” Grealy said. “They always come out ready to fight, ready to play and ready to win. So we just have to be ready for that, not take anything for granted and be ready to play harder than them and not let them control the pace of the game. We have to be able to play the way we play and not let them affect how we play.”