The Red has an opportunity to clinch a spot in the Ivy League Tournament with a win at Yale (7-5, 1-4 Ivy League) on Saturday. No. 20 Cornell (7-5, 3-3 Ivy) has lost five of its last six games and is coming off a tough loss on Tuesday to No. 5 Syracuse (9-4), 16-4. A victory Saturday afternoon would ensure Cornell the fourth spot in the conference tournament in two weeks.
The loss on Tuesday to the National runners up from a year ago was, for the most part, a one-sided affair. The Orange led 9-2 at halftime and was up 13-2 at one point in the middle of the second half. Despite allowing 16 goals, sophomore goalie Carly Gniewek had a career-high 14 saves for the Red. Senior midfielder Kelly Lang led Cornell in scoring, netting two goals in the loss.
“Syracuse was a tough game,” said junior midfielder and captain Chelsea Rowe. “We learned that we need to push each other harder in each practice. I think we failed on our execution and our transitioning. We’ve only had one practice this week, but we have made sure to focus on the little things and our discipline.”
Looking forward to Saturday, the Bulldogs lead the all-time series against the Red 19-15, but Cornell has gotten the best of them in their last five meetings, including a 17-9 victory last year. Senior attacker Caroline Sailsbury had five goals in the big win.
Yale has only managed one Ivy League win this year, which came last weekend in a close match against Columbia, 13-12.
“We don’t want to dwell on our recent success against Yale,” Rowe said. “We are going to need to play together and execute our game plan. Yale plays zone defense, so we are going to have to move the ball quickly and look for open draws.”
Cornell hopes to change its recent trend over the past six games (1-5). The squad started the season 6-0, but has struggled ever since an 11-10 loss to No. 3 North Carolina. The Red was able to save its conference tournament hopes last weekend with a 9-7 victory over Brown.
“One of our goals this year was to be Ivy League champs and we would like to be in control of our own destiny,” Rowe said. “We have a chance to begin that quest on Saturday with a win.”
Saturday is Cornell’s last Ivy League game before facing two non-conference opponents to finish off the season. The Red will face Binghamton and Boston next week at Schoellkopf Field on Tuesday and Saturday respectively.
Original Author: Scott Eckl