February 26, 2013

WOMEN’S LACROSSE | Cornell Topples Griffins in Season Opener

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Women’s lacrosse opened its season Saturday with a 16-0 victory against the Canisius Griffins. Highlights included sophomore Lindsay Toppe scoring four goals and grabbing three assists for a career-high seven points, senior Caroline Salisbury adding four goals for the Red and junior Rachel Moody bringing in seven points with two goals and five assists. Additionally, senior goalkeeper Courtney Gallagher had a total of eight saves in net.

The Red’s focus throughout the game was on fine-tuning its “hustle stats,” according to members of the squad.

“We went into the game focusing on opening our season on a strong note by improving our hustle stats, meaning we wanted to cause more turnovers, dominate draw controls and control ground balls,” freshman Abby Hanson said.

The game was close for the entire 60 minutes of playtime, but the Red never trailed. The team entered the second half with a three-goal lead that drove its momentum for the remainder of the game.

The Red capitalized on draw controls for scoring and netted three goals in succession directly after winning the draw at the onset of the second period.

“Performing well on draw controls allowed us to get three goals right off the bat at the beginning of the second period, which gave us a good cushion,” Hanson said.

The Red is ready to start the season off on a win, but knows that it must make improvements before its upcoming game against Harvard.

“We are celebrating the win of our first game of the season, but we didn’t play to our best potential, and we have to get focused now for Harvard, our home-opener,” freshman midfielder Maddie Kiep said.

Cornell will face Harvard on Saturday, for its first Ivy-League contest of the year.

“I’m excited but nervous because it will most likely be a close game. We’ve beat them the past two years so we hope to continue that streak this year,” freshman midfielder Shelby McNeilly said.

The team is turning to its seniors for strong leadership and a positive morale  for an extra boost in tough match-ups such as this one. The ten freshmen in particular — the future of the Red’s women’s lacrosse program — looks to the seniors as role models.

“The seniors are great leaders. They have a really strong work ethic, they lead by example and they give a good vibe on the field. Their passion for securing wins is contagious,” Kiep said.

Original Author: Sydney Altschuler