The women’s lacrosse team came back early from the first ever Ivy League Tournament this weekend, having lost to Dartmouth, 10-8. The Red echoed every Dartmouth goal until a set of goals by the Green late in the second half pushed Dartmouth ahead, thereby eliminating Cornell.
The Red (5-9) had already played Dartmouth (now 11-4) during the regular season and was hoping to avenge the previous loss at the tournament. The Red hosted Dartmouth on April 10th and lost, 6-9. However, despite the teams’ history, the Red went into the game with a positive attitude and much motivation. Freshman midfielder Morgan Axenfeld commented.
“As a team, we were not nervous,” said freshman midfielder Morgan Axenfeld. “We knew that Dartmouth was the team we wanted to see again after our loss to them during the regular Ivy play and we were excited to get the chance.”
Cornell vs. Dartmouth was a relatively even match-up and the game remained close until the end. However, Dartmouth came out with the slight edge. The Red turned the ball over 14 times to Dartmouth’s 10 and lost in ground balls tally, 18-10.
Cornell’s offense was solid throughout the 60 minutes of play. The Red earned a narrow, 11-8, edge in draw controls and several players had two goals each. Axenfeld scored two goals and had an assist. Sophomore Olivia Knotts and junior captain Libby Johnson also contributed two goals apiece, while sophomores Katie Kirk and Shannon McHugh each earned one. Sophomore Jessi Steinberg had two assists and senior Tissy O’Connor won four draws for the Red.
Knotts explained that the team was feeling very good going into the second half, tied with the Green, 4-4.
“We definitely felt like we played a strong first half and the team was pumped up for the second.”
After half time, Dartmouth pulled ahead of Cornell with three goals within the first five minutes, giving the Green a lead, 7-5. But the Red again responded as Axenfeld scored her second goal at 21:50 and Kirk followed suit just one minute later to tie it up at 7-7. Dartmouth’s Sarah Plumb then scored only to be tied by Johnson for the Red. But the Red could not hold off Dartmouth at the end. Kirsten Goldberg (who racked up three goals total for Dartmouth) and Plumb scored again to win the game, 10-8.
“At that point, the momentum of the game somewhat shifted into Dartmouth’s hands. We had some unlucky breaks like hitting the post at the end, but Dartmouth is a great competitive team and they did play well,” said sophomore Shannon Tierney.
“Of course we were disappointed but we played tough and gave it our all,” Knotts said of the loss. “We were excited just to compete in the first ever Ivy Tournament.”
“We would have liked to have made it to the championship game but we were happy with our effort,” Tierney said.
Dartmouth went on to play No. 6 Penn in the finals of the tournament and suffered a close loss, 9-8, to the host school. Penn had beaten Princeton, 13-9, in the semi-final round the day before.
After the tough loss, only one game remains in the 2009-10 season for the women of the Big Red. The Red will take on University of North Carolina this coming Saturday.
“We still have one game left and we’re practicing really hard this week,” Knotts said. “We want to finish the season strong.”
Original Author: Katie Schubauer