September 21, 2010

Field Hockey Earns First Ivy League Win of the Season

Print More

This weekend marked the beginning of Ivy play for the Cornell field hockey team. The Red opened the Ivy League season with a decisive victory over Penn this Saturday at Marsha Dodson Field. The final score of the match was 4-0. Cornell (4-1, 1-0 Ivy) got off to a bit of a slow start, as Penn (1-3, 0-1 Ivy) dominated the offense for a significant amount of the first half. However, the tables turned 12 minutes into the game, when freshman attacker Hannah Balleza scored the first goal of the contest, giving the Red a 1-0 lead. “We struggled a little bit early in the game. We weren’t as sharp as we typically are,” said head coach Donna Hornibrook. “The first goal gave us the momentum we needed to concentrate and settle our game down.”Senior attacker Catie De Stio said that the goal marked a success on the entire team’s part as it was a group effort. “After the first 12 minutes, the team really started to connect with each other,” De Stio said. “There were a bunch of shots on goal and then Hannah [Balleza] finally got the ball off the ground and into the goal which really got the game moving for us.”Shortly thereafter, the Red executed two more goals, the first coming from De Stio and the next from senior midfielder Kate Thompson. All three goals occurred over the span of a mere seven minutes. The final goal came at the 46:42 mark from senior captain Sara Sanders off a pass from De Stio. Sanders’ goal put the Red up 4-0, which was the final score, as the Red was able to fend off the Quakers for the remainder of the game. “I was really pleased with the way the team played,” Hornibrook said. “Our offense was great. We had balanced scoring and I was very happy about that.” In addition to successful offensive play, Hornibrook also attributed much of the team’s victory to its defense. Junior goaltender Alex Botte had four saves in the first 61 minutes of play before she was relieved by freshman Carolyn Horner. “The whole defense came up big for us,” Hornibrook said. “Penn had the first pressure but Botte had some really big saves that allowed us to get our feet on the ground. After the turnaround, [the defense] really stepped up. Defensively, any time you get a shutout, you have to be happy with that.”Next up, the Red will travel to Columbia where it will face the Lions (4-2, 1-0 Ivy), whose similar record promises a good matchup between the two teams. The Red will be back in Ithaca on Sunday when it hosts No. 3 Virginia at noon. “We are confident for the upcoming games, but we’re not overconfident,” De Stio said. “We are really focused on fixing little glitches and details and becoming one cohesive team so that we can continue to win.”

Original Author: Katie Schubauer