By ANNA FASMAN
With 199 wins under their belts, the women of the Cornell soccer team are preparing for this weekend of games, hoping to notch a 200th victory for the program. The Red will take on Buffalo Friday afternoon, followed by a Sunday game against Binghamton.
So far this season, the Red’s (3-1) only loss came last weekend during the Big Red Shootout when Cornell fell to temple, 2-1. Buffalo has an impressive record of 4-1-1 and has historically posed a threat on the field. In its overall gameplay with the Bulls, the Red holds a losing record of 3-1-2. However, Cornell has seen more success in the past against the Bearcats, who are 4-4-0 so far this season.
Coming off last weekend’s loss, the Red has been focusing on fast paced, high intensity gameplay in practice, working on two-touch passes and finding gaps within the other team’s defensive line. It has been also working on connecting on the field, especially between the midfielders and offense.
Sophomore midfielder Elizabeth Crowell explained that while the team fought hard for the win, it ultimately lost because of lack of aggression on the field. Moving forward, Crowell and her teammates hope to learn from that mistake.
“We hadn’t played a team like Temple yet, and we were losing a lot of individual battles because we were being pushed off the ball. There isn’t room to be timid when going into a tackle, and we need to change that mindset,” she said.
While a win this weekend would mean a significant milestone for the women’s soccer program, Crowell noted that the team looks to play and improve from game to game and tries not to put too much pressure on each individual match.
“It is our philosophy as a team that staying in the present is essential to achieving our longer term goals. If we don’t give 100 percent in each practice and then in each game because we’re preoccupied with something other than the here-and-now, we won’t be able to get where we need to be,” she said. “In the context of [the] ‘big picture,’ it would be really cool for this team to hit the landmark of win 200, but it would just be another stop along the way.”
Senior captain and defenseman Sydney Cetrullo, along with Crowell, also noted that the games this weekend are just the beginning of the overall season goal of having a winning season for the first time in twelve years.
The team has started off strong and progresses towards this goal in part due to the strong group of underclassmen, both on the field and on the bench.
“The underclassmen have done a really great job competing and playing wise. They bring a lot of good depth to the team and pushing everyone to raise their game,” said Cetrullo.
Crowell echoed this sentiment and added that, “This year our bench is deeper because we have so much new talent, which means that we can sub players in and out without fear that the level of play on the field will drop. They will have a huge influence on our success this year.”
With a strong desire for the win and a chemistry that continues to grow on the field, the team hopes to come out of this weekend accomplishing what they couldn’t at the Shootout. Last weekend was a learning experience all around, especially the game against Temple, according to Cetrullo.
“We realized we needed to play faster, something we’ve been focusing on this week at practice,” Cetrullo said. “Against Temple we also recognized the need to be more physical, which will need to improve for this weekend against two physical teams.”