Brittney Chew | Sun Assistant Photo Editor

Freshman forward Kennedy Yearby is finding her place on her new team.

October 19, 2016

Women’s Soccer Gears Up for Brown, Aims for Second Consecutive Ivy League Win

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The Cornell women will seek their second consecutive Ivy League victory this Saturday as they travel to Brown for their fifth League competition of the season.

The team has been consistently improving in performance and results in terms of conference competition throughout the season — initially losing to Columbia and Penn, tying top-ranked Harvard in a scoreless draw and finally defeating Yale, 2-1, in their first intra-league victory of the season last Saturday.

The Red’s confidence increases each week as the team continues to see better results and aims to build on this strength by delivering another strong performance at Brown and keep moving up in Ivy rankings.

Cornell was led to victory against Yale on Saturday by midfielders sophomore Jessica Ritchie and freshman Juliana Comer, who were each responsible for one of the Red’s goals. Comer’s goal in the 76th minute of play — her first career goal — earned her the distinction of Ivy League Rookie of the Week. This achievement was the first time a member of the Red has received the honor since 2013.

“I expect her confidence is on the rise and will lead her to another good performance Saturday,” said head coach Patrick Farmer. “Comer and forward Kennedy Yearby are the only freshmen thus far to have scored goals for the team.”

These newest members of the Red have demonstrated their ability to contribute to the team’s success, and Farmer expressed high expectations for more seasoned members of the Red’s offense.

“I feel that senior captain Ellie Crowell will turn one of her recent close misses into a goal this weekend,” Farmer said. “[Junior forward Paige DeLoach is] a constant threat offensively for us.”

The development of the Red’s offensive line has been an important focus for the team this season, and the results have begun to show. Ritchie’s goal in the 22nd minute of play against Yale marked the end of a 526-minute scoring drought, which the team has been struggling to quench over the course of seven games. Now that the drought is over, the Red is determined to maintain focus on its offensive cohesion and scoring power.

“We are hoping to continue developing our possession as well as our mobility and movement off the ball,” Ritchie said.

The Cornell women, currently ranked seventh in the Ivy league, will be challenged to stretch their winning streak over third ranked Brown (7-2-4, 2-1-1 Ivy). The Bears average 10.3 shots and one goal per game. In comparison, Cornell has averaged 9.9 shots per game and 0.46 goals per game this season.

“Brown will be quick, physical, play with a lot of high pressure, and have a couple of excellent All Ivy players that can influence the outcome of any match,” Farmer said. “They have a high confidence level after beating Princeton and drawing with Harvard and it will take a concerted team effort for 90 minutes to break them down.”

While Brown will certainly present a challenge, the Red is progressing rapidly and will enter competition this Saturday with renewed confidence in its ability to score — a confidence aided by new faces as well as old — while maintaining a solid defensive line.

“I think the Yale match gave us renewed confidence that we can score goals and also that we can withstand some prolonged pressure without giving in and surrendering a goal,” Farmer said. ”So I hope we can build on that confidence in both areas and play a solid defensive match on the road and still be capable of scoring goals to win the match.”

Cornell will face Brown at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Providence.