Opening up Ivy League play with a bang, No. 16 Cornell women’s lacrosse defeated the No. 13 Penn Quakers in a 10-4 win yesterday at Franklin Field.
“[This game] is exactly how we wanted to open our Ivy League game play,” said junior midfielder Taylor Reed. “Despite many turnovers in the game, we were able to overcome our mistakes with hustle and teamwork.”
The Red (2-1) got off to a shaky start as the Quakers (3-1) scored the first two goals of the game, but Cornell kept its composure and was able to rally back to end the half leading 6-4.
“We made plenty of mistakes, but we kept up the fight which is a great sign,” said head coach Jenny Graap.
Cornell dominated the second half of the game, finding the back of the net four more times and preventing the Quakers from scoring altogether. It also marked the first time since 2011 that the Red kept their opponent scoreless in the second half.
“We knew that Penn had several weapons in their attacking end, and we wanted to focus on our team’s defensive effort to limit their opportunities,” Graap said. “I’m very proud of our defensive effort [and] my two assistants, Coach Olin and Coach Corzel, for designing a great game plan.”
Cornell’s defense was led by senior goalkeeper Renee Poullott with three saves. Senior defender Catie Smith and junior defenders Cait Callahan and Anna Baumeister also put in impressive defensive efforts.
“The one thing we did focus on is the one stop mentality,” Smith said. “We made sure that if the ball was on the ground, we were the team coming up with it.”
Other highlights from the match included four players recording two goals each: senior attacker Catherine Ellis, sophomore attacker Sarah Phillips, senior midfielder Kristy Gilbert and Reed. Senior attacker Amie Dickson and sophomore attacker Tomasina Leska each also tallied a point in the Red’s winning effort
Cornell not only outscored Penn, but also demonstrated their well-roundedness and depth by controlling the game in other areas as well — leading the Quakers 15-13 in ground balls and 9-7 in draw controls.
The win represents a critical game for the Red, as the team moves one step closer to earning the automatic qualifier spot to the NCAA tournament that the Ivy League will play for at the end of the season.
“For team morale, this win is definitely a huge one,” Smith said. “Getting a big win for us in the Ivy League this early puts us in a good position moving forward.”
“We can build off of this game to continue improving as we head into the rest of our Ivy League games,” Reed added.
The Red will take a short break from conference play to take on the Colgate Raiders (3-1) Tuesday, March 7 at 5 p.m. at Schoellkopf Field before returning to Ivy League action against the Columbia Lions (3-1) on Saturday, March 11 at Kraft Field.
“Beating a tough Quaker team is exciting, but Cornell has plenty to work on to improve our performance,” Graap said. “With Colgate waiting on Tuesday, we won’t be celebrating long as we need to move onto our next game.”