April 26, 2012

WOMEN’S LACROSSE | C.U. Jockeys For Tournament Position

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The Cornell women’s lacrosse team travels to Providence, R.I. on Saturday to take on Ivy League opponent Brown at 12:00 p.m. Not only will this be the final game of the Red’s undoubtedly successful regular season, but it is one with a lot riding on it.

The Red (10-4, 4-2 Ivy League) currently holds a favorable position within the Ivy League standings, positioned third behind Penn and Dartmouth. Brown (6-7, 1-5) sits in the cellars of the conference, a mere seventh place in the Ancient Eight standings.

Despite Brown’s struggles thus far this season, head coach Jenny Graap emphasized the importance of staying focused on the task at hand.

“This is a huge Ivy game, obviously a crucial game for tournament qualification, a lot is on the line,” she said. “We need to focus on being efficient on offense, generating consistency, and playing tight defense.”

Keen on her scouting report, Graap also pointed out two talented players for Brown — Kaela McGilloway and Bre Hudgins — as forces that could give the Red a handful this weekend.

McGilloway has 22 goals and 22 assists on the season, leading the team with 44 points. Hudgins leads the team in goals with 23. Goaltenders Isabel Harvey and Kellie Roddy, who split time in the net, both have goals against averages over 11.

The Red, though, has some significant weapons of its own. Senior attack Jessi Steinberg has put a mark on her career with 44 goals thus far. Despite her success over the past four years, Steinberg remained modest when talking about the important game coming up.

“Our game against Brown is our most important game yet,” she said. “Since I have been at Cornell, we have not made it to the NCAA Tournament. We need to stay focused and win this game against Brown, which will take us one step closer.”

Steinberg is accompanied by senior Olivia Knotts on offense. She is one goal shy of the 30 goal threshold. Junior attack Caroline Salisbury has tallied 38 goals on the season, including a hat-trick in the Red’s most recent non-conference matchup with Binghamton. The trio provides a dynamic offensive attack that will plague Brown throughout the game.

“At this point in the year we, as a team, are faced with a huge game,” said junior midfielder/defender Kate Ivory, who suffered an injury earlier in the season. “Over the course of the season we have embraced challenges and collectively have grown as a team, nothing about this game is any different.”

The Red has already secured a spot in the Ivy League tournament after Penn beat Princeton Wednesday night. However, a win over Brown would give the Red the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament, putting them in even better position to make the NCAA Tournament.

Original Author: Lucas Pitman