April 17, 2009

No. 18 Women’s Lacrosse Hits the Road to Take On Yale

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After an impressive comeback effort fell short in Wednesday’s 11-8 loss to No. 8 Syracuse, the No. 18 women’s lacrosse team will stay on the road to go up against Yale tomorrow.
“Yale is going to be tough,” said assistant coach Suzie Friedrich. “They have a couple go-to players who are doing well on the attacking end of the field, but we’re playing really well right now as a team, both defensively and offensively. So we’re feeling pretty confident, especially coming off of last night’s strong performance against Syracuse.”[img_assist|nid=36950|title=I like to move it, move it|desc=Senior Jessica Wiegand looks to bypass a Brown opponent at Schoellkopf Field in last Saturday’s contest.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Last time Cornell (7-5, 2-3 Ivy League) faced Yale (5-8, 4-1), the Red claimed the 8-6 victory, and Cornell hopes to have the same success this time around. The Bulldogs are coming off of a two-game winning streak including a 12-6 victory over Columbia last week and a dominant 18-4 win against Wagner on Tuesday.
The Bulldogs have been improving offensively, and are likely to pose a challenge with their scoring line. In Yale’s win over Wagner, the Bulldogs scored a season-high 18 goals, with 10 of these goals coming from different players. Yale was quick to pull into the lead in this win, scoring 10 consecutive goals during the first period.
Significantly factoring into Yale’s scoring line are Jessica Sturgill, Ariana Papier and Jenn Warden. Juniors Sturgill and Papier each tallied seven goals in these past two matches. Senior midfielder Warden picked up hat tricks in each of Yale’s past two wins, and leads in scoring with 35 season goals.
In goal for the Bulldogs, sophomore Katie Janian and freshman Whitney Quackenbush share net time. Quackenbush is in net for most matches, and holds a .475 saves percentage and a 9.30 goals against average.
The Red’s defense will have to be organized and quick to combat Yale’s deep offense and protect Cornell’s side of the field.
“Overall we’re pretty pleased with what we’re doing right now, and I think we’re peaking at the right time, because things are starting to come together, so we’ll continue to just work hard on both ends of the field,” Friedrich said.
The Red continues to make improvements as the season progresses, and is focused on capitalizing on as many scoring opportunities as possible and becoming stronger in transitions. The team consistently works to develop at both ends of the field in order to collectively become more effective.
“Defensively, we work pretty well as a unit, but we still have to be better at dictating where we want the opponent to go, what we want them to do. On the attacking end, they’re starting to come together now, but again, we still need to recognize opportunities, such as when can they go one-on-one, just moving the ball a little bit quicker,” Friedrich said.
Freshman Jessi Steinberg and sophomore Libby Johnson lead the team in scoring, and on the whole, Cornell’s offense has been forceful and increasingly quick to pick up openings to score.
Junior Kristen Reese continues to be unyielding in goal for the Red as a tough barrier to opposing squads’ attackers, with a .450 saves percentage and 9.57 goals against average.
The Red will come into the match against Yale ready to work hard and put in its full effort, optimistic to take this opportunity to achieve a conference win and to continue with the same tenacity demonstrated in the match against Syracuse.
“We’re not the prettiest team, we’re not the flashiest team, but we’re going to do our best to outwork the other team. It’s just about hustle and about heart and those aren’t things that you find on the stat page, they’re just things that we know we can control and that’s what we’re going to do well,” Friedrich said. “If we work hard, if we have a lot of hustle, then the other pieces will fall into place and that’s when we’re going to be successful.”