By KEITH BOLLT
“They came together on the road [and] on the turf,” said women’s soccer head coach Patrick Farmer. He paused for a second to think; something that had not clicked on the long bus ride back from New Haven had just occurred to him. Saturday’s game was the Red’s first road conference victory in his tenure at Cornell.
Cornell women’s soccer (9-1-4, 2-1-1 Ivy) was victorious at 1-0 over the Yale Bulldogs (4-6-2, 1-3-0 Ivy) Saturday afternoon in New Haven. With the win, Cornell now boasts No. 3 in the Ivy League conference standings with just three games to go.
“We had much better patience,” Farmer said in praise of his team’s offense. “The best possession game all year.”
The game-winning goal, scored by junior midfielder Elizabeth Crowell, broke up a three game scoreless streak for the Red. Senior co-captain and defender/midfielder Shanay Fischer agreed with Farmer that Cornell’s offense was much improved on Saturday. She said the team has been focused on being more aggressive offensively.
“Our attitude offensively has been improving”, she said.
The late Yogi Berra and Earl Weaver liked to boast, “We have deep depth.” Indeed, eight different Red players have scored at least one goal so far this season. At the same time, the game winner on Saturday was tallied by the Red’s leader in goals and points, Crowell. Farmer said he believes striking a balance between depth and a few go-to scorers is important.
“I think you have to have both,” he said. “You have to have one or two primary scorers. … We got contributions from 19 players [on Saturday].”
On the defensive side of things, Cornell completed its 12th shutout in 14 games. Senior co-captain and defender Charlotte Tate said the Red’s defense is playing well together.
“We did let up some corners,” she said. “[But] we’ve been getting better [at playing as a] unit.”
Farmer said he was impressed with the way the Red handled defending one of Yale’s top scoring players.
“They have a very good freshman [and we] communicated well defensively,” he said. “[We] weren’t intimidated and [the team] did a very good job with her.”
Tate explained that Yale changed its positional arrangement late in the game in an attempt to even the score. As a result, the Red’s defense had to fend off extra Bulldog attackers in the match’s closing minutes.
Farmer, Tate and Fischer all agreed that the 1-0 score was indicative of how both teams played. Farmer explained that both teams had their strong moments, with Yale earning chances to score that it was just not able to capitalize on.
While Cornell is now in third place in its conference, the team has not typically been competitive against its Ivy opponents in previous years.
“You want to be able to play for something to the last day of the season,” Farmer said. “It changes your vision of what you’re trying to do. … We hope Princeton beats Harvard and that we’re able to beat Princeton.”
Tate explained how it has been a long process from her freshman year to get Cornell women’s soccer to where it is now.
“It’s great to see the program move in this direction,” she said.