March 11, 2012

W. Lacrosse | Red Takes Two From Columbia, Colgate

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In any sport, when a team scores four times in the first 95 seconds of a game, it is usually a safe bet that team will end up winning.  It was no different for women’s lacrosse this weekend. The Red scored four goals in the first minute and a half of its home-opener against Columbia to dominate the Lions in a 19-7 victory.  After the victory, and with quality wins against Colgate, Harvard and Rutgers, the Red is 4-0 this early in the season for the first time since 2009.

“We feel like we are playing our best lacrosse right now,” said senior attack Jessi Steinberg, who scored four goals in the game against Columbia (1-3), including the 100th of her career.  “If we continue to play the way we are playing, we feel as though we can give anyone a game.”

On Wednesday, the Red (4-0) faced a Colgate (0-5) team that has been struggling in the early stages of the season.  Cornell capitalized on poor defense and a lethargic start by Colgate, and scored the first four goals of the game.  However, in the final period, the Raiders scored four straight goals to cut the Cornell lead to two with just under six minutes remaining in the game.

After some jockeying by both sides, senior attack Olivia Knotts earned a free position and scored to put Cornell up by three.  Two minutes later, junior midfielder Lauren Halpern earned her first goal, and Cornell ended up winning the game 15-10.

The Columbia game was no different, as Cornell started strong and continued its momentum throughout the game.  Twenty two seconds into the match, senior midfielder Katie Kirk scored a goal on a Steinberg assist to put the Red up 1-0.  Then, in just one minute and twelve seconds, Steinberg scored three straight goals to bolster the Red’s lead to four.  Although Columbia scored the next two goals of the game, Cornell would respond by going on another four goal streak with scores from Knotts, Kirk, junior attack Caroline Salisbury and junior midfielder Kelly Lang.  By the time Cornell reached halftime, Steinberg had four goals and Cornell was up 13-4.

“We played really well against both Columbia and Colgate,” said senior midfielder Shannon McHugh.  “Going 4-0 to start the season feels really good, but we know that we have to sustain our level of play to be successful.”

The Red’s next opponent will be Canisius (2-2), a team that gave them some trouble this fall.

“In the history of our program, we have actually never played Canisius in the regular season.  However, we played them this fall, and they gave us a good game,” McHugh said.

In addition to Canisius, Cornell will play national powerhouse Notre Dame in Orlando, Florida on Saturday. Consistently ranked in the Top-10 in the country, Notre Dame will pose a major challenge for Cornell, and will be a great benchmark for the rest of the season.

“Our first goal is to go into spring break with a winning record,” McHugh said.  “However, if we can go down to Florida and get a win against Notre Dame, that would be great, too.”

Original Author: Nicholas Rielly