By TROY BRIDSON
Cornell looked for a break through midway through the first half in a tied matchup with Columbia. Senior captain Marisa Siergiej rose to the occasion, scoring two goals in a little over two minutes to put the Red ahead, 3-1.
Siergiej’s first goal came from a sweep shot off of a penalty corner. The captain’s second goal came on a penalty stroke earned by her sister, freshman Isabel Siergiej. The Siergiej sisters provided a needed jump start to the Cornell offense, with the duo proving to be a major reason Cornell (5-4-0, 1-1 Ivy) beat Columbia (5-4-0,1-1 Ivy), 5-2, on Saturday.
“Our strikers created some great scoring opportunities which we converted,” said head coach Donna Hornibrook.
Sophomore forwards Katie Carlson and Krysten Mayers were also key players in the victory. Carlson scored a pair of goals and Mayers added a goal and an assist. Senior captain Taylor Standiford also had a solid game in midfield, facilitating play. Defensively, the Red did not allow a whole lot of scoring opportunities for Columbia.
“We had a great overall team effort,” Hornibrook said. “We controlled play offensively and defensively and Kelly Johnson had a nice game in net.”
It was a different story for the Red when the team faced off against No. 1 ranked Syracuse (10-0-0) on Sunday. The Orange, who is playing the best field hockey in the country right now, could not stopped by the Red.
“We were able to hang with them in the first half, but they were too much to handle in the second,” Hornibrook said.
Cornell was overmatched in all areas of the game, with Syracuse showing why they are the top team in the country right now.
“We give them full credit,” Hornibrook said. “Attack wise, their ball speed and execution was outstanding.”
Cornell is looking to make improvements before its upcoming match with Yale (2-7-0, 0-2 Ivy) and continue doing some of the things the team did well against Columbia. The teams in the Ivy League know each other very well and, as a result, the Red is really focusing on preparation and execution.
“We are looking to communicate more on defense and push the speed of play,” Hornibrook said.
Although Yale does not have a winning record, the team is well-coached and still does a lot of things well.
“Yale teams are always well balanced,” Hornibrook said.
Hornibrook said Yale’s great ball movement and pace creates a lot of scoring opportunities. The Cornell defense will have to be on its toes and be prepared for a variety of offensive looks.
“They’ll be playing on their home field and will be ready play,” Hornibrook said. “We will be ready too.”