Dana Daniels | Sun Staff Photographer

Renee Poullott's stellar play in goal helped the Red hold the Crimson to just three goals on Saturday.

April 24, 2016

Strong Defense Propels Cornell Women’s Lacrosse to Victory Over Harvard

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This Saturday, Cornell women’s lacrosse (11-3, 5-1 Ivy) traveled to Cambridge and earned another Ivy League win, remaining in contention for the regular season Ivy title. The Red dominated Harvard (7-6, 3-3 Ivy) in both halves to earn an 11-3 victory.

“Our defense really played spectacularly against Harvard. It really came down to great team defense,” said co-captain Brittany Marriott. “We knew they were a high-driving team and so our focus was solid one versus one defense and sending doubles early. We followed through on our game plan, playing sound team defense, with great slides and communication.”

Marriott also spoke highly of the Red’s goalie, junior Renee Poullott.

“Of course a huge, huge part of holding Harvard to three goals was the outstanding performance of Renee in the net,” Marriott said. “She made incredible saves that anchored our defense.”

Poullott had ten saves in the game, her third time achieving this feat this season. While Harvard was the first to get on the scoreboard in the first half, Cornell’s defense then shut the Crimson down, holding Harvard to just one goal until the second half.

Partially thanks to the stellar defensive effort, the Red began to heat up offensively, scoring four goals in the first half to finish with a strong 4-1 lead going into halftime.

As has been the case all throughout the season, the Red’s offense was driven by balanced scoring from multiple Cornell players. Today it was junior Amie Dickson, sophomore Joey Coffy, junior Catherine Ellis and junior Kristy Gilbert who all scored multiple goals in Cambridge.

“This year is unlike any other in terms of balanced scoring. I am so proud to be a part of an offense that shares the ball so equally and boasts so many threats,” said senior co-captain Emily Tripodi. “It forces any defense we play to really think in order to pick who to mark strongly, if they choose to even mark any of us strongly. As a unit we know that anyone can come in and score a goal, and that is powerful.”

It certainly was a powerful showing for the Red, who before this matchup had lost two games in a row for the first time this season, against Ivy rival No. 11 Princeton and nationally ranked No. 5 Syracuse.

The matchup against Princeton in New Jersey was a particularly tough loss, as Princeton and Cornell are currently the top two teams in the Ivy League going into the last week of the season.

The Tigers (10-4, 5-1 Ivy) recently lost their first game against an Ivy opponent, losing 12-7 to Penn on April 20. Now, Cornell, Penn and Princeton all have the same conference record of 5-1, and are tied for first in the league. The Red’s last game of the regular season will be on Saturday against Penn (11-3, 5-1 Ivy) at Schoellkopf, and with Ivy standings in limbo and Cornell celebrating senior day, the environment is sure to be exhilarating, according to Marriott.

“Saturday is by far the biggest game of our season,” said Marriott. “Whoever wins this game will likely share the Ivy title with Princeton. We are so incredibly grateful and excited to have the opportunity to play in this high stakes game. Our team has had an incredible season so far, and we want nothing more than to finish off the regular season on a very high note with a win and a share of that title.”

The Red will face off against the Quakers on Saturday, April 30, at 1 p.m.