April 13, 2009

W. Lacrosse Pulls Away From Brown

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The women’s lacrosse team netted another Ivy League victory this past weekend to extend its win streak to two games, defeating Brown 12-9. After overpowering University of New Hampshire during the week, No. 20 Cornell (7-4, 2-3 Ivy) utilized its momentum and technique to play a solid sixty minutes.
“I thought Brown definitely played a good game and they were a lot better than last year,” said sophomore Libby Johnson. “They really never let us pull away. Every time we would score a couple of goals, they would always answer back. “
Starting off the game strong offensively by maintaining control of the ball through draw controls and forced turnovers, the Red did not give the Bears (6-5, 2-2 Ivy) many opportunities, which created longer possession times for the Red.
The game opened neck and neck, with the Bears having a response to every Cornell goal. Brown struck first, but within nine minutes, the Red retaliated and found the back of the net three times to take the lead. Less than seven minutes into the game, senior defender Kelly Hansen attained her first career goal, helping the Red pull away to 6-4.
Going into the second half, Cornell held a one-goal advantage. Freshman Jessi Steinberg and Johnson each netted a hat trick, helping the Red add to their column on the scoreboard.
“I was please with our team’s effort. I though that Brown presented a challenge with their very scrappy play … I thought our team reacted well to playing Brown,” said head coach Jenny Graap ’86. “We adjusted like needed to the different style of defense they were playing and the different style they were using to clear the ball. I’m definitely pleased with the overall effort from the team.”
Cornell’s defense was really tested during the last thirty minutes of the game when Brown decided to alter its offensive style, in hopes of catching the Red off guard. Yet, Cornell remained strong and continued its strategy of double covering some of Brown’s key scorers.[img_assist|nid=36777|title=Carrying the load|desc=Freshman attackman Jessi Steinberg scored three goals and notched an assist in the Red’s win over Brown.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“On attack we focused on more team offense. We didn’t have as many strict plays it was more just everyone moving and cutting and picking for each other, which made it more successful for us today,” said junior Tissy O’Connor. “Brown’s defense was interesting. They changed up their game a lot. They would push up behind the goal; they threw a double on the ball and were pretty sporadic, but we did a good job responding. Everyone had a lot of looks today and we created a lot more opportunities for each other by working together.”
Aiding the Red, junior goalie Kristen Reese was an unstoppable force behind the net, making 22 saves and allowing only 12 goals in the last two matches. In addition, freshman Katie Kirk played an impressive game, scoring two goals and an assist.
“We’re going to have to work a lot better on team defense. Luckily, our goalie, Reese, came up big during the second half but we’re going to have to work a lot on team defense and tending the doubles and committing to the doubles when you’re in them,” O’Connor said.
With a positive outlook for the remainder of the season, the lacrosse team is hoping to utilized its success and confidence it earned in this weekend’s game, to continue a winning streak for the remainder of its season.
“It was a good team win. We are trying to win all of our last final games of the season and Ivy League play from here on out. So this was a good step for us,” O’Connor said.