November 4, 2015

WOMEN’S SOCCER | Women Look for Best Finish in 20 Years

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Despite the unseasonal warmth this week, winter is still on the horizon and fall sports are wrapping up for the year. Cornell women’s soccer will play its last game of 2015 this Saturday against Dartmouth (7-4-4, 0-3-3 Ivy) after a disappointing loss to first place Princeton (13-3, 6-0). While the Red had the chance to upset the Tigers and threaten their first place standing, Princeton was able to clinch its No. 1 spot and the Ivy NCAA tournament bid with a 2-0 win over Cornell (9-3-4, 2-3-1).

However, rather than dwelling on the loss to Princeton, the women have shifted focus to this weekend’s game against the Green.
“Moving forward, we’re looking to win our last game against Dartmouth,” said senior captain Charlotte Tate. “We still have the chance to be one of the top few teams in the conference and that is a great source of motivation. We’ll focus on fixing some mistakes we made over the weekend and continue to train hard for our last week.”

Dartmouth is currently tied for last place in the league with Yale, so while the win is not a sure thing, the Red stands in a favorable position to succeed against the Green this weekend. Additionally, Cornell was able to take the win last time it met Dartmouth out on the field.

“Last year, we beat Dartmouth at hom’e on our senior day,” said senior captain Shanay Fischer. “I’m expecting this to be a tough game. Both teams want to win the last game of the season and end on a positive note. They’ll definitely want some revenge, so we have to show up and battle and prove that we’re the better team.”

However, while the Red took the win last year against Dartmouth, the Green was able to earn a tie against second-ranked Harvard in its game last weekend. Coming off a solid performance against a successful team, Dartmouth enters this weekend’s game with momentum and motivation for the win.

“Dartmouth is coming out of a 1-1 tie with former Ivy League champion, Harvard, so we know we have to put nothing but our best foot forward this weekend to get a result,” said junior goalkeeper Kelsey Tierney.

In terms of preparation for their last game, Fischer said that the women have to focus on their mental game and understanding that just because the season is coming to an end does not mean that the team can become complacent in its play.

“How we respond after two losses will say a lot about our overall team personality,” Fischer said. “We still have a lot to play for. One of our goals is to finish in the top half of the Ivy League. Prepping for this game requires more focus on us and keeping in mind that this season isn’t over yet.”

Head coach Patrick Farmer said this game could play a big role in determining where the Red finishes in the Ivy standings this year, so this game carries a lot of weight. The team can still finish as high as third and as low as sixth in the Ancient Eight, according to Farmer.

Even if the team finishes sixth, it’ll mark an improvement in the program. In the past 15 years, Cornell hasn’t ranked higher than seventh. Farmer is still optimistic and said he thinks the team deserves to finish in the top half of the league. This has been an exceptionally successful season for the Red, and Farmer said he expects to see the same level of play in this last game as he has all season.

“I am hoping that the team can rise to the occasion once more this season after all the good things they have accomplished,” Farmer said. “Although it is only some ‘numbers,’ I think we deserve to be in the top half of the Ivy League based on their overall season and I expect they will point at that as a proper benchmark and really attack this last match of the season.”