April 22, 2009

Women’s Lax Upsets No. 10 Vanderbilt

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Upsets seem to have been a common trend this week for Cornell lacrosse, as the No. 20 women’s team took down No. 10-ranked Vanderbilt, 11-4, yesterday afternoon at Schoellkopf Field. Both teams now boast identical records at 9-5, and with the win the Red has guaranteed itself a winning season –– its ninth in 12 years under head coach Jenny Graap.
Sophomore Libby Johnson led the Red (3-3 Ivy) offensively with five goals on six shots –– outscoring Vanderbilt’s entire team. Senior Jessica Wiegand and freshman Katie Kirk also contributed two goals apiece.
The Commodores, who entered yesterday’s contest averaging 15.8 goals per contest, were held 11 under their average, thanks largely in part to a strong showing from Cornell’s defense. Senior Deirdre Lafferty and junior Tissy O’Connor tag-teamed for six turnovers and notched seven ground balls between them, and the Red caused 13 turnovers overall. Junior Kristen Reese made four saves in goal, including three in the second half. [img_assist|nid=37090|title=Anything you can do I can do better|desc=Like its male counterparts, the women’s lacrosse team upset a higher-ranked opponent yesterday afternoon at Schoellkopf Field.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Junior midfielder Sarah Downing led Vanderbilt’s offense with three goals, but the potent combination of sophomore Katherine Denkler, junior Carter Foote, freshmen Ally Carey and Alex Priddy and senior Cara Giordano managed just one goal in the contest. The five had entered the game with a combined 134 goals; by comparison, Cornell had 112 goals as a team going into yesterday’s matchup.
Vanderbilt scored three times in the first 12:24 to take a 3-1 lead, but Cornell rallied and dictated the pace of play for the rest of the game. Kirk scored the first of her two goals to bring the Red within one with 12:37 left, and Wiegand tied the game at three-all with 9:10 left. This prefaced the Libby Johnson Show, as the sophomore scored five of the next six goals as part of a 10-1 Cornell run to close out the game.
The Red was without two of its top-scoring attackers, but their absence did not impact the team negatively, as Cornell was able to generate plenty of offense behind Johnson’s efforts. She scored what would prove to be the go-ahead and game-winning goals. Freshman Olivia Knotts added an insurance goal –– her first career score –– and classmate Shannon Tierney notched her first assist after narrowly missing her own goal earlier in the contest.
The women’s lacrosse team closes out Ivy League play this Saturday, when it hosts rival Harvard at Schoellkopf Field, where the Red is 5-1.