September 13, 2010

Women’s Soccer Drops Both Games in Raider Invitational

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After a resounding 7-0 victory against Delaware State had the Cornell women’s soccer team at an even 1-1-0 on the season, the Red suffered a setback this weekend as it dropped matches against both St. Bonaventure (3-3-0) and Seton Hall (3-3-0) at the Raider Invitational in Hamilton, N.Y., bringing Cornell’s record to 1-3-0.

Friday’s match against St. Bonaventure saw the Red fall behind 3-0 by halftime –– a deficit Cornell could not overcome. The Red eventually lost, 3-1. The match proved a tale of two halves. Cornell was outshot 11-2 in the first half as the Bonnies barraged Red netminder Megan Bartlett throughout the game. Bartlett had six saves in the first half and finished the game with eight. The second half was a different story as the Red outshot St. Bonaventure, 5-4. Junior forward Brook Chang had her first goal of the season off a Maneesha Chitanvis through-ball in the 58th minute. Chang beat the keeper and slipped the ball into the empty net for her fifth career goal.

“I definitely don’t think they outplayed us,” Chang said. “I think we just had some defensive lapses. It was a lot of little things, such as communication errors and not being at the right place on set plays. Once we fixed that we were able to regroup and play much better.”

The Red hopes Chang’s resurgence this year will help the offense take a big step forward. After notching a team-leading four goals her freshman season, Chang struggled to find the net last year as the entire Red offense failed to produce. Having Chang find the back of the net again is a positive sign for the Red.

“This year it feels great to come into the season fresh and score a goal early in the season,” Chang said. “It was a really good feeling to score again and hopefully those good feelings continue.”

Conceding early goals was a problem for the Red again in the Seton Hall game on Sunday, as Cornell fell behind 1-0 in the second minute and failed to rally. The Red mustered a measly two shots on goal during the game and was outshot 20-7 on the day. Seton Hall connected again in the 89th minute off a volley that struck the underside of the crossbar and caromed into the net to finish off the scoring. Goalkeeper Kelly Murphy tallied eight saves. Sunday’s game marked the first time the Red offense was shut-out on the season.

“It’s always hard when you’re down a goal right away, but I think we did a better job of rallying during the second game and playing hard,” said sophomore Meg Crowell. “We definitely brought a lot of intensity.”

For the Red, little mistakes seemed to hurt the team early and often as both St. Bonaventure and Seton Hall were able to find the back of the net within the first 20 minutes.

“We just need to fix the little things right now, and once those things are fixed we’ll definitely see a major improvement,” Chang said.

Despite dropping these two games, Cornell doesn’t seem to be too worried as it prepares for its Ivy opener against Columbia on Sept. 24.

“Our priority is the Ivy League season, so these games are working out the team in preparation for that,” Crowell said. “We’re just taking it one game at a time.”

Original Author: Jimmy Xi