Maintaining its perfect Ivy League record, the No. 8 Cornell women’s lacrosse defeated the Brown Bears, 11-8, on Saturday at Schoellkopf Field.
Cornell was focused on starting off strong going into the game and the improvements paid off. The Red (9-1, 4-0 Ivy) started the match off with a bang, scoring two goals within the first two minutes of the game and had a 5-3 lead over the Bears (4-7, 0-4) at the half.
“I think we just had to change our mindset about the beginning of the games and we did that,” said senior tri-captain attacker Catherine Ellis. “Energy is a big part … and we really emphasized warming up well with a lot of energy so that would then translate on the the field for the beginning of the game.”
Head coach Jenny Graap ’86 credits the win to increased possession and sharper play all around.
“The improvement in our draw control unit has allowed us to gain more possessions at the start of the game which has benefitted our offense,” Graap said. “I also think our [defense] unit deserves a lot of credit for their clearing ability. Fewer turnovers in transition has also resulted in more offensive opportunities.”
Highlights from the game include four goals from Ellis and two goals each from senior midfielder Amie Dickson and sophomore attacker Sarah Phillips. Sophomore attacker Tomasina Leska and junior tri-captain midfielder Ida Farinholt both found the back of the net once.
On the defensive side, senior goalie Renee Poullott made eight saves and senior tri-captain defender Catie Smith forced two turnovers and fielded two ground balls.
Never content to rest on its laurels, the Red looks to continue finessing its game before taking on the Great Danes of Albany (7-4, 3-1 America East) Tuesday.
“A big takeaway from Brown offensively is that we need to shoot better,” Ellis said. “We were five for 20 in the first half … which is not very good. I think as attackers we just need to be more patient and make better decisions.”
Graap echoed that her team must keep improving despite their success.
“[We can] not take our foot off the gas after scoring easily at the outset of the game,” Graap said. “[We will be] playing a full 60 minutes that includes good team [defense] to neutralize their scoring threats and opportunistic and high powered offense no matter what kind of defense the Great Danes throw at us.”
The match against the Great Danes was originally slated to occur on March 15, but was postponed due to inclement weather. The overall series with Albany is tied, 2-2, and the Great Danes will be a challenging opponent as they are ranked in the top 30 in the nation according to the Inside Lacrosse Poll.
At about the halfway point in the season, the Red continues to look within itself to continue building on its eight-game winning streak.
“Our main focus now that we’re halfway through is to continue with our theme of getting better everyday,” Ellis said. “We’re coming into the hardest stretch of our season and this is where you see great teams start to separate themselves from the rest. We’re looking to do that.”
Cornell will face Albany on Tuesday at 5 p.m. at home.