March 10, 2009

W. Lax Stays Perfect With Win Over No. 20 Hofstra

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The women’s lacrosse team continued its undefeated streak against its first nationally-ranked opponent on Saturday. No. 20 Hofstra fell, 13-10, to the Red in a highly offensive battle. However, the Red pulled through with better defense and superb goaltending by junior goaltender Kristen Reese.
“Our defense really backed us up during the first half and really helped us stay in the game as things wore on,” freshman attack Jessi Steinberg said.
The team’s undefeated streak continues to boost the confidence of the young team that entered this season wondering how the loss of a large graduating class would affect their performance. This young team will need to mature in a hurry if they want to compete for the top spot in the Ancient Eight.
“We’re just trying to focus on things one game at a time and we haven’t looked very far ahead,” Steinberg said. “We have really been focusing on our game tomorrow and this weekend.”
The Ivy League boasts four nationally-ranked teams, including the Red. Penn leads the pack at No. 6, and will be the Red’s second Ivy opponent. The team opens up its official league season against Columbia in New York on March 14. The Red’s battle against Penn should be tight, as should all of its Ivy League matches. The Ivy League is one of the most competitive for lacrosse, and every team has a shot to win.
“All of our games are going to be really tight, especially as the Ivy League season starts up,” Steinberg said. [img_assist|nid=35969|title=Standing strong|desc=Junior goalie Kristen Reese made a career-high 14 saves to help the Red past Hofstra, 13-10, on Saturday.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
The Red’s victory derailed Hofstra’s own undefeated streak, pushing the Pride to 3-1. The Red offense had trouble getting going throughout the game; it was a strong defensive showing in addition to 14 saves by Reese that kept Cornell in the game. The Red then went on a streak led by sophomore attack Libby Johnson. Johnson tacked on two goals and four assists for the Red.
Hofstra was let down by its goalkeeping, only preventing four shots from hitting the back of the net. Though the Pride led in all statistical categories, its lack of saves caused its downfall. The Red will not be able to count on this kind of occurrence in the future, and though it was able to take advantage of the opportunity, the team will need more than luck and execution in its next few matches.
“We’re definitely moving forward into the next couple of games, looking to do well before the Ivy season begins,” Steinberg said. “The seniors are doing a great job leading us and I think that’s going to be important as things go on.”
The final nine minutes of the game were completely controlled by the Red. The visitors were able to silence the Pride, preventing Hofstra from keeping possession and making any attempt at a reply to the Red’s offensive onslaught.
The Red returns to Ithaca to play LeMoyne College tomorrow. The game is the Red’s last chance to get rid of preseason jitters before the Ivy League season begins.