April 29, 2012

W. LACROSSE | C.U. Earns Decisive Win Over Bears to Close Out Season

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On Wednesday, the women’s lacrosse team received news that the Penn Quakers had defeated the Princeton Tigers, which meant that the Red had just earned a guaranteed bid to the Ivy League championships. However, according to senior midfielder Katie Kirk, despite already having secured a spot in the tournament that Cornell has not been a part of since 2010, the team was still motivated to give its best effort against Brown — a squad that has struggled this season.

“We still needed to finish the regular season strong,” she said. “Although we did not do everything we wanted against Brown, we still came away with a win, and that is all that counts.”

Coming off a nine goal victory against Binghamton (3-12) in the middle of the week, the Red (11-4, 5-2 Ivy League) started strong against Brown (6-8, 1-6), jumping out to a 6-1 lead early in the game. After two more goals by Cornell to make the score 8-2, Brown was forced to change goaltenders and shift to a more defensive playing style. This did not alter Cornell’s attack, as the Red added two more goals by freshman attack Lindsay Toppe and junior midfielder Lauren Halpern, making the score 10-4 at the end of the first half.

After a strong offensive effort in the first 30 minutes of play, Cornell allowed just three goals in the second half, as freshman goalkeeper Carly Gniewek gave a strong performance in net, earning a career-high eight saves in just 30 minutes and lowering her goals against average to 7.35. The freshman midfielder Claire MacManus also supported the defense, as she picked up a career-high seven ground balls and played a huge role in frustrating Brown’s offense throughout the game.

“It was definitely an all-around effort,” Kirk, who scored three goals in the first half, said. “Brown was not a team to take lightly, and we definitely played a full game against them.”

The win marked Cornell’s 13th consecutive victory against Brown, as the Red has dominated the series against the Bears, not losing a game since 2000. In addition, the win made Cornell undefeated on the road during the 2012 season, which helped the team achieve a 10-win season for the first time since 2006.

“It was really nice knowing that we had already secured a berth for the Ivy League Championship going into the game,” said junior attack Veronica Lizzio. “It allowed us to stay relaxed and play our game.”

Cornell will now travel to Philadelphia, Pa. to face a Dartmouth squad (10-4, 5-2) that no one on the Cornell roster has ever defeated.

“We lost a really close game to Dartmouth earlier in the season,” Lizzio said. “No one on this team has ever defeated them, and we are really excited for the chance to see them again. Our seniors are very motivated to see Dartmouth, one last time and we expect a very competitive game.”

Original Author: Nicholas Rielly