October 5, 2011

FIELD HOCKEY | Cornell Falls in Defensive Game

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The Red struggled to create scoring opportunities in its third consecutive loss of the season in a matchup against Colgate, 1-0, on Tuesday at Dodson Field. Cornell (3-6, 0-3 Ivy League) could not overcome a late first half goal by the Raiders (5-7, 0-1 Patriot League) in the defensive struggle. Sophomore forward Brittany Thompson led the Red in shots with three in a game that featured only 13 shots total — six by Cornell. The Red did not have a single shot on goal and failed to record any shots in the second period.  “It was a very midfield oriented game,” said head coach Donna Hornibrook. “Scoring chances were at a minimal. We just weren’t able to sustain any pressure in the offensive zone.”Going into the game against Colgate, Hornibrook emphasized creating scoring opportunities against the man-to-man defense that the Raiders showed. “We knew they played man-to-man defense, so we had to spread them out, but we just didn’t win our one on one battles,” she said. “The effort was there today, but we just weren’t able to create many scoring opportunities and execute.”Senior goalkeeper and co-captain Alex Botte allowed what proved to be the game-winning goal at 16:10 in the first period. She recorded one save while falling to 1-5 on the season. Sophomore Carolyn Horner replaced Botte in the second period and recorded two saves. The Red planned on splitting time between the goalkeepers to give the sophomore more experience. After the game, Botte emphasized playing with a more offensive style for the Red’s next game at Lehigh (2-10, 0-1) on Sunday. “We just have to work on creating more scoring opportunities,” Botte said. “We have to get into a more aggressive style of play.” Botte did note that the team showed glimpses of a more offensive oriented style of play during the second period. “Our ball movement was much better in the second half,” she explained. “We tried to move the ball up the right side more. We did a much better job communicating to each other and reading each other.”Sophomore forward Hannah Balleza echoed Botte’s breakdown of the second period play. “We definitely picked up our intensity in the second half,” she said. “Our transfers were better and we started to hit the ball through to our forwards more.” Balleza, who leads the team with 10 points on the season, including four goals, explained that the Raiders’ style of play made it difficult to create legitimate scoring opportunities. “It was frustrating that they kept hitting the ball through our forwards straight downfield, and we weren’t able to step in front of the ball,” she explained. The Red was missing two key players with injuries, as senior forward and co-captain Olivia Boyd and junior forward Kat DiPastina were both unavailable on Tuesday. Boyd played in all eight games prior to Tuesday’s contest and DiPastina ranks third on the team with three total points, including one goal. The Red looks to break its three-game losing streak on Sunday when the team travels to Bethlehem, Pa. to play Lehigh at 3 p.m. The Mountain Hawks have struggled this season, compiling a 2-10 record with both wins coming at home. Lehigh has outscored Cornell on the season, 17-9, but has allowed several more goals, 49-18. The Red enters Sunday’s action with losses in six of its last seven games, with its lone win coming against St. Francis on Sept. 18, 2-0. Cornell is winless on the road in three chances this year, but has dominated Lehigh historically, posting an 18-1-1 record all-time against the Mountain Hawks.   Balleza emphasized playing through to the final whistle in Sunday’s game as a key to the Red returning home with a victory. “We definitely have to sustain our intensity for the full 70 minutes. We got to have better decision making on the field and have quicker ball speed,” she said.Hornibrook echoed Balleza’s call for more offense. “We need to work on creating scoring opportunities,” the head coach explained. “We need to attack more.”

Original Author: Scott Eckl