By KEITH BOLLT
Amidst heavy rain and winds approaching 50 miles per hour, Cornell women’s soccer (8-0-2, 1-0-1 Ivy) slogged its way to a 0-0 draw against Penn (4-2-3, 0-1-1 Ivy) Friday evening at Penn Park in Philadelphia. With its ninth shutout in 10 games, the Red remains undefeated this season.
“Consistent rain, and the wind was strong the entire game,” said senior co-captain defender Shanay Fischer about the game conditions. “It was also noisy, because we were in the city. It was just a completely different environment. The weather definitely played a huge factor in the result. Whichever team was playing against the wind had to work a little harder. The ball was all over the place, and it was tough to judge how far the ball would go on goal kicks, corner kicks and plays like that.”
Head coach Patrick Farmer agreed that the conditions affected the game’s outcome. He said he believes that the draw was indicative of the two teams’ equal play and that the lack of goals was a result of the weather.
“I thought the two teams were pretty close,” Farmer said, adding that in better weather the two teams would have likely played to a “1-1 draw.”
Farmer said the weather changed the type of game his team played.
“I thought we had a good game plan,” Farmer said. “The game was more about competitive spirit … than tactical and technical [play].”
Farmer said some of the Red’s well-executed technical plays came unraveled due to high winds and a wet playing surface. Farmer said a strong wind allowed goalies to clear the ball 60 or 70 yards on goal kicks. Even though the Red had to play the second half of regulation running into the wind, Farmer still “played for the win.”
“We changed our shape to the most attacking shape possible,” Farmer said. “We played with four attackers instead of four midfielders for the last sixty-five minutes of the game.”
As is typical of conference play, the Red only had one game last weekend. Farmer said he believes one game per week affects the way he manages a game. He plays some players more and has a hard time getting some role players into games.
“[During conference games, we] shorten our bench a little”, he said. “From 21 to 18 or 19 … Our back four and [freshman goalie Kelsey Tierney] played all 110 minutes.”
“The number of games we have in a weekend doesn’t change the way we play,” Fisher said. “There’s no such thing as pacing yourself, especially when it comes to these Ivy games. We have to put 100 percent effort into the entire game every game. We definitely did that at Penn.”
Both teams had a couple of opportunities to score but each time the teams were unable to capitalize.
“They had a bouncing ball,” Farmer said. “[The Penn player] should have hit the target. She headed it too high … In overtime, we had a good run and a good shot that just went wide.”
To add another wrinkle, due to the inclement weather, the Red did not know which field it would be playing on until after the team meal on Friday. Overall, Farmer and his players alike said they were impressed with how the team managed everything.
“Obviously a win is the most desirable result for every game, but a draw doesn’t hurt either,” Fischer said. “We want to come away from these Ivy games with points, and we get one point for a draw. Considering how chaotic the Penn game was, I think a tie was deserved on both ends.”