November 5, 2012

FIELD HOCKEY | Red Falls in Close Match

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The Cornell field hockey team had its final contest of the season as it hosted Dartmouth on Saturday in an Ivy League matchup. The Red (8-9,3-4) fell 2-1 to the Big Green (11-6,6-1) in a close game that was only decided near the end.Prior to the game, a ceremony was held to honor the three Cornell seniors midfielder Genevieve Collins, forward Kat DiPastina and back Paige Mollineaux who also have served as tri-captains this season. The game kicked off with the Red getting on the scoreboard early with a penalty corner scored by freshman back Marisa Siergiej. Both junior  forward Hannah Balleza and freshman midfielder Taylor Standiford helped to set up the goal. Cornell was able to maintain the lead at halftime and entered the break in an advantageous position under junior Carolyn Horner’s goalkeeping.Just under four minutes into the second half, the Green was able to equalize on a controversial goal by Samantha McPherson. Cornell protested that she had kicked the ball into the goal but the protest was ignored by the officials. It was McPherson who would again score, with just one minute remaining in the game to give Dartmouth the lead. The Red tried furiously to equalize but was thwarted by the Green defense.“We hoped to end our season with a win and so it was very disappointing,” Mollineaux said. “A lot of calls didn’t go our way but there’s nothing we could’ve done about that.”“The game was really tightly matched, and we fought hard to the end — even getting a penalty corner in the final seconds, which could have put us into overtime,” DiPastina said. “It’s too bad that we couldn’t capitalize on it, but we left it all out on the field otherwise.”With the season all done, the Red can look back upon its tumultuous results with a sense of pride, according to DiPastina.“It’s great as a captain to see the team pushing one another, and to see the younger leaders stepping up in practices and games,” she said. “A lot of our improvements came from the competitive drive we had right from the beginning of the season, and the girls responded really well once we got the knack for our new game tactics.”The season was marked both by a string of early losses that put the Red at a 1-6 record, but more importantly by a six-game win streak that then moved the team to 7-6. The team suffered a few heartbreaking defeats in its Ivy League contests but according to Mollineaux, the players will walk away from the season with pride. “I think we’ve made a lot of progress this past season … Our six game winning streak proves that,” she said. “I know the entire junior class is going to be great leaders, they will build upon this past season and contend with Princeton for the Ivy League title next year.”The seniors also reflected on the team.“Honestly, these girls are the best teammates and friends, and I am extremely fortunate to have been able to spend the past four years with such dedicated, passionate people,” DiPastina said.

Original Author: Shayan Salam