During the torrential downpour on Wednesday night, Cornell (0-3) was defeated in a shutout, 3-0, by regional rival Colgate (3-3) at Berman Field. Both teams had to weather the harsh conditions; however, Colgate’s style of play was better suited for the inclement conditions in the end. The road team was able to switch the ball more and effectively find more openings on the opposite side of the field, holding the upper hand in the contest.
“Playing in that type of weather was very difficult,” explained head coach Danielle LaRoche. “It’s not our strength — our strength is keeping the ball on the ground and moving it around. When the ground is saturated [we] really need to play a more aerial game, which is not our game, so we were inhibited by the rain in doing as well as we usually do.”
The first half of the game was scoreless, although the Raiders generated more offensive attacks and outshot the Red, 10- 5. In the second half, Colgate took the lead 1:35 into play on a goal that was deflected off a Cornell defender — an error that most likely would not have occurred in dryer conditions. The only shot on goal by the Red came in the first half by freshman Claire MacManus.
The second goal of the game came at the 54:37 mark, as Colgate extended its lead, 2-0, before adding the final goal of the match in the 70th minute to clinch the win for the Raiders. Senior goalie Megan Bartlett recorded two saves in the first half and three in the second, making a significant effort to keep Cornell in the game.
“We didn’t have a great game,” LaRoche said. “One of the major things we did poorly was descend as a team. We didn’t do a great job of communicating and stepping into pressure quickly enough.”
With a particularly large squad this year of 33 players — only six of whom are seniors — the first few games of the season can prove to be challenging when it comes to assimilating newer players. However, according to junior midfielder Megan Crowell, the Red is extremely motivated and reaffirmed that its main focus is to improve play both on the offensive and defensive front, in order to improve the overall season record.
“We always want to come out with a win obviously,” she said. “We are going to work on getting a win this week. We did well organizationally in the first half, but didn’t recover after the goal. We just need to work on staying focus and coming right back, which is something we can easily correct.”
The Red will go up against Bucknell on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m., before playing Binghamton on Sept. 14 at Berman Field for the last two games of the four-game homestand. Last year, Cornell beat Bucknell on the road, 2-0, and the team is hoping to produce the same result this weekend.
“Bucknell was supposed to play Binghamton, but that got canceled,” LaRoche said. “It would have been a good indication for us. They have had one win and they’ve struggled a bit in other games, so it will be a good opportunity for us. If we play well and defend will we should get a great result against them. There is no one on our schedule that we can play poorly and win. We really have to focus on playing well and defending well in order to get that win.”
“We’ve always done well in the past against them — it’s always been an even game,” Crowell added. “I feel confident we will be able to do well. We will learn from the past few games and make a couple changes. We have a really great team this year and we working out the kinks from the first few games of the season, but I’m confident we will be able to turn around and be successful.”
Original Author: Nicole Wagner