The Red has seen its share of highs and lows this season. The women’s soccer team has persevered through painful disappointment and built off the momentum of improvement. However, the season has proved a difficult one, and this weekend saw perhaps the greatest disappointment for the team thus far, as it was defeated by Princeton at home on Berman Field, 6-1.
“[The loss was] a very poor and uninspired performance overall as a team,” said head coach Patrick Farmer.
Going into the game, Cornell and Princeton were tied for fifth place in the Ivy League, alongside Yale. Following this weekend’s defeat, the Red sinks to seventh, and will compete against eighth-ranked Dartmouth this Saturday in its last match of the season.
While Saturday was unquestionably an off day for the Cornell women, they were also facing a fierce opponent. Princeton is the reigning Ivy League Champion and has long been a force to be reckoned with in the conference, although the Tigers lost their shot at this year’s title after losing three consecutive games earlier in the season.
Farmer said he knew going into the game that Princeton’s offensive line would pose a challenge for his team. Sophomore forward Mimi Assom, former Ivy League Rookie of the Year, was responsible for three of the Tigers’ six goals.
Tyler Lussi, Vanessa Gregoire and Tomi Kennedy each put the rest of Princeton’s points on the board. The Tigers had 25 shots overall and 14 shots on goal, while the Red had 14 and 6, respectively.
“I thought we performed well below our norm in terms of possession and generating dangerous opportunities,” Farmer said. “Even when we have lost matches this season, we have had good stretches of possession and have found ways to be dangerous around the penalty area. I didn’t think that we did either of those things on Saturday. We needed more cohesiveness as an attacking group and more personality as individuals to create chances.”
Cornell’s junior forward Paige DeLoach gave the Red its lone goal of the game in the 61st minute of play, with an assist from sophomore defender Zoe McCormick. DeLoach is Cornell’s leading scorer, with three goals so far this season. Her goal was one of very few bright spots for the Red in the game.
“I did not think we were very connected together on defense and allowed entirely too much space in the Princeton attacking half of the field,” Farmer said. “On offense, I did not think we played well as a team, possessing the ball or creating serious goal scoring opportunities.”
While certainly a disappointing performance overall for the Red, Farmer cited several individual performances he was pleased with, including those of midfielders sophomore Carolyn Ruoff and senior Ellie Crowell, who he said “played at a good level.”
This Saturday Crowell, fellow captains Kelsey Tierney and Kailey Joyce, and the Red’s four other seniors will play their final game on Berman Field. Cornell seeks to end the season and say goodbye to its seniors on a positive note, with a strong performance against Dartmouth.
The Red will face Dartmouth this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. on Berman Field.