The women’s lacrosse team is now .500 after pulling out a narrow 10-9 win over host Colgate on Tyler’s Field last night. The Red (1-1) controlled the majority of the contest, but the Raiders (1-2) were physical and fought to keep the numbers on the scoreboard close. A 4-0 Cornell run in the second half provided insurance for the Red women whose dominant play was overshadowed by the final outcome.
Seven Red players contributed goals in the victory that sent Cornell’s series record to 11 consecutive wins against the in-state rival. Sophomore midfield Shannon McHugh recorded the team’s first hat trick of the spring in the exciting win. Leading the offense behind McHugh was sophomore midfield Katie Kirk with two goals and two draw controls, and senior tri-captain Libby Johnson with one goal and one assist. Low defender Caroline (“Cacki”) Helmer had a memorable night as she scored her first collegiate goal, in addition to grabbing two groundballs and forcing a Colgate turnover. Also registering the first goal of her career was freshman midfield Lauren Halpern. Sophomore attacks Olivia Knotts and Shannon Tierney also had a stick in the tally with one goal apiece.
“We knew that they had strong players and we took down their numbers,” Helmer added, “We tried to shut those girls down as much as possible, but we made a point to take care of the whole attack. We really had to respect each payer in her own right.”
Senior and sophomore goalkeeping pair Kristen Reese and Kyla Dambach split time in the net, combining for four saves on the day.
In yesterday evening’s competition, Cornell fired off 31 shots to Colgate’s 21. The Red had difficulty capitalizing on attack with Raider standout Christina Roa in goal. Roa frustrated the Cornell offense with nine stops. Colgate held a slight 11-10 edge in draws and a 15-14 advantage in groundball pick-ups.
The Red was granted nine free-positions, while limiting the Raiders to just four attempts. Cornell remained aggressive on both ends of the field, playing defense in its opponent’s final third to disrupt six Colgate clears. “We were working on playing team defense and not worrying about any one player in particular,” Helmer said, “We are confident that we can all counter threats toward our net. One of our goals has been to spread responsibility throughout the entire team and, in doing so, empower each other to take the risks that we need to.” The Red eagerly awaits the opportunity to play on its own turf this weekend. Cornell will welcome Hofstra to Schoellkopf Field on Saturday at 12 p.m. for its first home game of the season. Helmer expects that the defense will continue to improve upon its strengths and weaknesses as it prepares to face the Pride.
“Our focus will be on working together as a unit, coordinating and sending slides, and trying to support each other as much as possible,” she said.
“We know the things that we have to fix and we have the time to make these adjustments,” Helmer added.“It just comes down to getting the job done when Saturday’s game rolls around. The team is really pumped about our next big competition. We have taken big strides in the right direction and this weekend will be a nice gauge as to where we are and what we can do to move forward.”
Original Author: Jane Peters