Dana Daniels | Sun Staff Photographer

After falling short to No. 3 Syracuse, the Red hopes to give No. 13 Harvard a hard fought match.

October 13, 2016

Cornell Field Hockey to Challenge Top Ivy Opponent, Harvard

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The Cornell field hockey team hopes to upset No. 13 Harvard’s currently undefeated record in the Ivy League conference, after a busy weekend against Yale and No. 3 Syracuse.

The Red earned its first Ivy League win of the season against the Bulldogs this past Saturday. The women went into the second half tied 1-1, but came out on top, defeating Yale, 2-1.

Cornell maintained an impressive advantage in shots on goal, 12-7, which was one aspect of the team’s game that allowed it to sustain composure and apply consistent pressure to Yale’s defensive unit.

Following this victory, the Red fell short on Sunday to the Orange, 5-0, who scored four of its goals in the second half. Syracuse put 10 more shots on goal than the Red.

Although the outcome was disappointing, according to head coach Donna Hornibrook, she said she is looking forward by focusing on the team’s imminent challenge.

“Next man up, next team up,” Hornibrook said. “We will focus and concentrate on improving in all aspects of the game.”

This coming weekend, Cornell will take on the Harvard Crimson. The Red is currently ranked 33 overall in the NCAA Division I standings — 20 places below Harvard. In the Ivy League conference, the Cornell and Harvard are tied for first and fifth, respectively.

“They are a very solid team, very well balanced,” Hornibrook said. “I have nothing but respect for them.”

The rivalry between the Red and the Crimson has been ongoing since their first game in 1976, when the Crimson came out victorious over the Red 3-0. Although Cornell defeated Harvard, 1-0, in the 2015 season, the Red is only concentrating on the future.

“What happened in the past isn’t our focus,” Hornibrook said. “We want to make sure we go out and play good, quality hockey.”

The women have been maintaining a strong, confident defensive unit so far this season, which should be demonstrated in their upcoming game.

According to Hornibrook, they are aware of the challenge they will face this Saturday, as Harvard is coming off of a five-game winning streak. The Crimson has allowed only three goals to be scored during this win streak. Cornell’s offensive unit will have to work hard to break through the Harvard defense.

“We know they are a solid program,” Hornibrook said, “But there is a lot of Ivy play left here so we know it will take a solid team performance from us.”

The women will focus on harnessing their current skills and managing their weaknesses according to Hornibrook.

“For us it is going out and try to move the ball well,” Hornibrook said. “We want to play solid team defence and hopefully do a good job with our set plays and offensive and defensive corners.”

Hornibrook said she has confidence that the Red will come out fighting.

“When we show up, we bring our best effort forward,” Hornibrook said. “If we bring our best game forward, I believe we can come out on top.”

Cornell will take on Harvard on Saturday at noon in Cambridge.