March 11, 2009

W. Lacrosse to Host Le Moyne in First-Ever Meeting

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Hoping to build upon its 3-0 undefeated record, the women’s lacrosse team will host Le Moyne College today at Schoellkopf Field in what will be the first meeting of these two central New York teams.
Like the Red (3-0, 0-0 Ivy), Le Moyne (2-3, Independent) is similarly trying to utilize the momentum of its winning streak, as the team is coming off of a 20-7 victory against Detroit Mercy and 11-9 win over Sacred Heart.
“We never played Le Moyne before, so it should be interesting,” sophomore attacker Libby Johnson said. “I’ve played with a lot of girls on the team in summer leagues and stuff, and there are definitely a lot of good players on the team. We know that they’re going to be looking to bring a good game just from being from the same area as us.”
The Dolphins’ most recent two games are an indication of the team’s offensive power. The team scored 31 goals in its two wins, and the goals came from players of varying class years and positions.
Midfielder Rebekah Elmer was a major contributor in the team’s win over Sacred Heart last week. Elmer scored three goals and won four ground controls and three ground balls to aid a Dolphins win. Elmer leads the team in scoring with 15 goals and three assists.
Scoring two goals in the Sacred Heart match, sophomore midfielder Mia Valetta is also a consistent scorer for Le Moyne, and has made 10 goals and two assists so far this season.
Le Moyne’s freshman goalkeeper Kelly Fucillo proved herself as a defensive force in the game against Sacred Heart, making a season-best 13 saves. Though a newcomer to her team, Fucillo has had an impressive start, saving 12.4 saves per contest and posting a .504 save percentage.[img_assist|nid=35990|title=Evasive maneuvers|desc=Sophomore attacker Libby Johnson (44) dodges a Rutgers opponent at Schoellkopf Field on Feb. 28. Cornell will face-off against Le Moyne for the first time today.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Cornell is prepared to meet Le Moyne with its own strong defensive line. Junior goalkeeper Kristen Reese was awarded Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week for her impressive efforts in the team’s first three games of the season. Reese holds a career-low 7.59 goals-against average and a 5.10 saves average this season.
The Red has an aggressive and balanced group of attackers, and the team has had goals from nine different players this season. Leading Cornell in scoring is freshman Jessi Steinberg, who has 12 points, seven goals and five assists.
The team has been focusing its attention on improving the fluency of its midfield in practice, hoping to come into this and future games as polished as possible.
“[Monday] we really focused on our midfield, and transitioning the ball from the goalie whenever we proceed up to the attacking end,” said Johnson. “That’s something that we’re going to continue to work on … and then after Le Moyne, too, going on to Columbia, because that was one of the things we struggled with at Hofstra.”
The team hopes to keep up its energetic start to the season by taking each practice seriously and not backing down during games.
“The team’s strongest assets are its cohesion and our refusal to give up the fight,” senior defender Deirdre Lafferty said. “Because of our ‘it’s not over, until it’s over’ attitude, we have been able to pull out wins and remain focused and determined in tight games.”