Cameron Pollack | Sun Photography Editor

After surrendering the first goal of the game, the Red went on a five-goal run.

March 8, 2017

Women’s Lacrosse Crushes Colgate, Looks Ahead to Columbia

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Women’s lacrosse had an impressive showing Tuesday night, demolishing the Colgate Raiders to the tune of 13-6. The victory moves No. 11 Cornell’s record to 3-1 a month into the season.

After conceding the first goal to Colgate, the Red quickly established control of the game by going on a five-goal run.

The Raiders struck back to make the game, 5-2, but Cornell’s defense locked down its opponent until deep in the second half, with the game already in hand for the Red. Colgate’s offense had averaged over 13 goals per game before meeting the brick wall that is Cornell’s defensive group.

The defense was led by All-American senior captain Catie Smith and goalkeeper Renee Poullott, who made seven saves and highlighted the day with a point-blank stop 10 minutes left in the first half.

By any metric, the Cornell women dictated the pace of the game to Colgate, although that pace may not always have been up to the Red’s high standards.

“We started pretty slowly,” said senior captain and midfielder Kristy Gilbert. “The first 10 minutes of the game were back and forth. Sometimes it takes a little to get settled in the game. Once we got the first goal, after minutes of this back and forth, we shifted the momentum and really settled into the game. Going off that, what we want to improve on for Columbia is to come out strong at the first whistle.”

By dominating ground balls and forcing eight turnovers by Colgate, Cornell possessed the ball for the majority of the game. The Red’s rotation of midfielders was unstoppable on both sides of the field.

Junior Taylor Reed scored an efficient hat-trick with three goals on three shots. Meanwhile, senior Amie Dickson led all players with five points — two goals and three assists. Gilbert scored two goals and earned assist while junior All-American Joey Coffy contributed with another two points.

The Red’s attack also had a productive day against Columbia. Senior captain Catherine Ellis and sophomore Sarah Phillips combined for four goals, while sophomore Tomasina Leska pitched in by spotting a cutting Ellis for an assist to open the scoring for Cornell. The attack was clinical in transition, converting most of the Red’s opportunities.

Head coach Jenny Graap was happy to have the opportunity for all of her healthy players, as well as many younger players, to get playing time. These younger players, including Leska, Phillips and fellow sophomore Hannah O’Reilly made major impacts on the field.

“What is really special about this year is we have a lot of younger players stepping into new leadership positions and they are doing a great job,” Gilbert said. “With five new starters this year, we have all quickly developed a really strong chemistry.”

Cornell, the reigning conference champions, look to continue its Ivy League success in a showdown at Columbia. The Lions are 3-1 overall and 1-0 in the Ivy League after a 17-10 victory over Dartmouth on Sunday. The Red defense will have its second real test of the season against a much-improved Columbia squad.

“[Columbia is] riding an incredible high from a well-played game,” Graap said. “We’re aware of the strengths that Columbia presents — they’ve got a lot of speed. They look like one of the stronger Columbia teams I’ve seen in the past 20 years.”

Action starts at 1 p.m. on Saturday in New York City.