October 12, 2010

10/10/10 Proves Lucky for Cornell Field Hockey

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10/10/10 –– they say the palindromic calendar date was a lucky day, and perhaps this was true, seeing as the Cornell field hockey team produced yet another victory on this very date. However, spectators of the game would vouch that the Red won on more than just pure luck. It was the intensity, determination and exceptional teamwork of the Red that led Cornell to a 3-1 victory over Lehigh on Sunday. The game, which took place at Cornell’s Marsha Dodson Field, marks the third consecutive win for the Red (8-3, 2-1 Ivy), having beaten Colgate a mere four days prior and St. Francis University three days prior to that. Unfortunately for Lehigh (2-11), the Red once again took the field with confidence and intensity and dominated the game from start to finish. “I was extremely pleased with the way the team played,” said head coach Donna Hornibrook. “We passed the ball really well and had tons of scoring chances. Although we weren’t able to finish in the first half, we hung in there and stepped it up in the second half.”The first half of the game ended in a stalemate, as neither team was able to score. The Red led the half in shots, totaling 15 to the Mountain Hawks’ four. Overall, Cornell took 36 shots, 22 of which were on goal, whereas Lehigh’s total number of shots only amounted to six. However, five of those six were on goal.Cornell’s definitive shot advantage was countered only by Jessica Miller’s number of saves. Miller, a senior goalkeeper for the Mountain Hawks, made 18 saves on Sunday –– a number which marks the fifth-highest number of saves in a single game in the NCAA this season. Hornibrook noted that the team played very well in the first half despite the 0-0 score and that only minor things had to be addressed during the halftime pep talk. Hornibrook said that the second half strategy was for the team to keep its composure and to believe that an opportunity would open up for the Red. Sure enough, halfway through the second half, several opportunities arrived and Cornell capitalized on them. The Red scored three goals all within 10 minutes of each other. The first goal came from freshman attacker Mallory Bannon, who tipped in a shot from sophomore attacker Kat DiPastina. “We stepped up our communication a lot in the second half which really changed the dynamic of the game in our favor,” DiPastina said. A mere six minutes later, DiPastina shot again. Her shot ricocheted off the goaltender’s stick to be received by freshman Hannah Balleza. Balleza then lifted the ball into the top corner of the net and earned her eighth goal of the season. This put Cornell ahead of the Mountain Hawks, 2-0. “The first goal definitely took some of the pressure off,” Hornibrook said. “Once we were finally able to score, we were able to bury a couple more.”The final goal came from senior attacker Catie De Stio, who ripped a fierce shot into the far corner of the net and put the home team up, 3-0. The goal was echoed several minutes later as Lehigh’s Madison Ingal scored off a penalty shot to put the Mountain Hawks on the board. The game ended shortly thereafter with a 3-1 victory for the Red. De Stio attributed the victory in large part to the strong teamwork that the Red displayed. “Looking at our goal scorers, who were three different people, really shows how well our team works together,” De Stio said. “It’s great that we have different people that can finish and we don’t just rely on one individual to carry the team.”Cornell is looking to continue this spectacular display of teamwork when it faces Harvard next Saturday. The Red will travel to Cambridge, Mass., where it will take on the Crimson at Jordan Field. “We’re really looking to continue improving our teamwork this week in practice,” De Stio said. “That way when we face Harvard, we’ll be at the top of our game.”

Original Author: Katie Schubauer