After a slow start against Yale this past weekend, the Cornell women’s lacrosse team made a stunning comeback in the second half to overcome the Bulldogs.
Cornell (6-1, 3-0 Ivy) took on Yale (5-4, 1-2 Ivy) on Saturday in a thrilling matchup, in which the Red extended its winning streak against Yale to 10 games. The game also brought the Red’s all-time record against Yale to 20-19.
The Bulldogs quickly took advantage of its home court advantage in the first half, putting up two goals within the first two minutes. At halftime, the Red was down 5-3 — its third halftime deficit of the season — and knew it would have some ground to cover in the second half.
Then, after tying with Yale five minutes into the second half, the team put on its game face and shot off nine unanswered goals. The Red’s unprecedented second half put the team up 15-6 to win the game.
The rally of the Red’s nine unanswered goals, which was its largest scoring-run of the season, began with a goal from senior Amie Dickson. Junior Joey Coffy then tied the game and followed up by giving the Red its first lead of the game. The Bulldogs would score just once after Coffy’s goal before being shut out early in the second half.
Senior goalkeeper Renee Pullott — who was recently name the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week — played a major part in the second half shutout. Pullott certainly displayed her defensive prowess in the game, making 10 saves in the crease. Her performance also marked the fourth time this season that the Red has limited its opponents to six or fewer goals.
On the offensive end, the Red showed its range of players, with eight different women finding the back of the net during the game.
“Our motto is ‘better everyday’, so just putting our full effort into practice and scouting the next opponent is our main focus leading up to any game,” said junior Ida Farinholt. “As a team, we are working on starting strong in the first moments of the game. This year especially, I think our team has such great depth which is awesome for giving the draw, offense and defense different looks from different personnel.”
While the Red’s second half comeback against Yale was certainly a spectacle, the team hopes to avoid comeback scenarios in the future.
“As a program, we are trying to give a consistent effort for all 60 minutes of the game,” said assistant coach Bill Olin. “Cornell is not a finished product yet; however, we feel like we are heading in the right direction with our overall play.”
In looking at the season at a whole, Cornell has shown improvement in its offense as opposed to last year, averaging 13 goals per game as opposed to 10 goals per game last season. However, the team does not believe it is stronger than previous years, but rather that the experience last year has really positively shaped the program.
“I wouldn’t say that this year’s team is stronger, just different,” said senior captain Catherine Smith. “With two new coaches and a lot of younger players stepping into their roles, we have different strategies that other teams are not prepared for.”
Cornell will look to continue developing its new team and maintain its hot start this Saturday, April 1 when it travels to New Jersey to play Rutgers. This will be the first meeting between the two teams since the Red’s 9-10 loss to the Scarlet Knights in 2014.