September 21, 2011

WOMEN’S SOCCER | La Salle Pushes Past Cornell After Half

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Coming out of the weekend with a pair of losses to Marist and Hartford, Cornell (1-7-0) came back home to play La Salle (6-0-1) at Berman Field on Tuesday. After playing its fourth game in six days, the Red lost to undefeated La Salle in its final game before Ivy League competition begins on Friday, 2-0.

“We didn’t even take it into consideration,” said junior midfielder Xandra Hompe, when asked about La Salle’s undefeated record.  “At best, it gave us motivation.”

The game began with an early shot by La Salle freshman forward Kelsey Haycook that went wide, followed by junior midfielder Hannah Labadie shooting a header at about 6:45, that was saved by La Salle senior goalkeeper Melissa Sanger. Shortly after, junior forward Maneesha Chitvanis also took her turn at trying for a goal, but Sanger blocked that shot, as well. After two misplaced shots by the Explorers, and a save from senior goalkeeper Kelly Murphy, the Red followed up with three shots — one apiece for Labadie and Chitvanis and an attempt by freshman forward Jaclyn Katz. The game went into halftime in a tie, 0-0.

The beginning of the second half was dominated by three shots from La Salle sophomore forward Renee Washington, all of which were turned back by Murphy. At the 60-minute mark, La Salle freshman midfielder Jackie Cammarata scored from the 35 mark off the cross bar to put La Salle ahead, 1-0. Haycook then scored at the 76-minute mark with a ball off Murphy’s hands to put her team up, 2-0. The Red had one last chance to break through, but Sanger stonewalled sophomore midfielder Mary Keroack’s charge with three minutes left. The Explorers doubled the Red’s shot output, 16-8, in the 2-0 win.

“Our second half wasn’t the same soccer as the first,” Hompe said. “We just kind of fell apart.”

“It came down to who could score,” added sophomore midfielder Rachel Nichols. “We played well … but we have been unlucky and haven’t been able to get a goal in.”

Junior midfielder Meg Crowell also noted the difficulty the Red had with finishing off its opponent after a strong defensive first half.

“We were struggling in the second half,” she said. “We played well in the first half, but we need to focus on putting our chances away.”

The win for the Explorers earned them a fifth consecutive shutout and kept up the squad’s title as the only team in women’s college soccer that has yet to surrender a goal this season. Looking ahead, the Red plays Columbia (2-4-0) on Friday at 7 p.m. and Niagara (2-6-0) on Sunday at 3 p.m., both to be played at Berman Field. Crowell pinpoints exactly what the Red has to do for Friday by noting that, “we see a problem that we want to fix and we have to change it.”

The game against the Lions will be the first game of the Red’s Ivy League play.

“We are really excited. It’s a separate season for us, now we are not trying to hang our heads low,” Nichols said. “We are trying to start fresh … we know that everyone is [starting fresh] — we have a good chance for the rest of the season.”

Original Author: Haley Velasco