April 21, 2009

W. Lacrosse Faces Top-10 Vanderbilt at Home

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The women’s lacrosse team heads back on the field to host Vanderbilt in a non-league afternoon matchup today. Although the No. 20 Cornell is on the upswing at the moment, No. 10 Vanderbilt is expected to be one of the tougher tests of the season.
The Red (8-5, 3-3 Ivy) will need an early lead to hold off a strong offensive team like the Commodores. Vanderbilt (9-4, 2-2 American Lacrosse Conference) has won seven of its last eight games, including an 18-11 victory over Notre Dame on Wednesday.[img_assist|nid=37060|title=Shades of red|desc=Senior Jessica Wiegand (left) won the game for Cornell against Yale last Saturday. The Red play the Commodores this afternoon.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Vanderbilt has won the last two years’ contests, including last season’s 15-6 victory. Yet, the Red still has faith and hopes to edge out a win to take the lead in the all-time series record between the two teams, currently tied at 5-5.
Combining technique and communication, the young Red squad has really proven its successfulness after coming off a huge 7-6 victory against Yale this past weekend.
Senior Jessica Wiegand scored an unassisted goal in the last five minutes of the contest against the Bulldogs, sealing the deal for Cornell. The Red had lead its opponent by two in the final period, but the Bulldogs mounted a final comeback to even the score at 6 apiece.
Offensively, sophomore Libby Johnson leads Cornell in 21 goals this season, with freshman Jessi Steinberg close behind with 28 points.
Yet, this midweek’s game will truly test the Red’s defensive skills, with Vanderbilt featuring a high-powered offense that includes six Commodores who have netted over 21 goals so far this season. In particular, junior Sara Downing has posted an incredible 43 goals. The squad has been working hard in practice honing its defensive tactics and improving its ability to really cover key opposing players.
All throughout its season so far the Red has demonstrated its energy and ability to maintain momentum as it continues to improve. Today’s game will be no exception with Cornell in the final stretch of its season.