Coming off of two consecutive one-goal losses, Cornell field hockey bounced back in a big way by defeating Brown 2-1 in overtime on Homecoming, making some history along the way.
Senior forward Krysten Mayers’ overtime goal not only clinched the victory for Cornell (8-5, 2-3 Ivy), but cemented her place in the record books as the school’s all-time leader in both goals and points. In Mayers’ Cornell career, she has amassed 96 total points, including a staggering 41 goals in her four seasons in Ithaca.
The Red was in control from the opening moments Saturday against Brown, as Cornell took a quick 1-0 lead behind a goal from senior captain Sam McILwrick only six minutes into the game.
Despite the Red’s command of the contest, Brown evened it up with a game-tying goal in the second half. But Mayers was able to save the Red’s Homecoming with her overtime score that gave Cornell the much-needed victory.
“We’re really happy that we pulled out the win against Brown, but we will need to work on better execution in our attacking third,” McILwrick said.
The Red’s main issue this season had been its lack of offense, but despite the low-scoring affair, Cornell was able to create several scoring chances. The squad took 25 shots, 16 of which were on goal; both of those were season highs. The Red also attempted six corners.
“Our offense looked better, and we had a ton of scoring opportunities, but now we know that we need to work on finishing those chances,” said head coach Donna Hornibrook. “I give a lot of credit to Brown. They played a fantastic game, but in my opinion, it shouldn’t have gone to overtime. We need to convert our opportunities better.”
Defensively, the Red was characteristically strong against Brown, allowing just four corners and a total of six shots on goal throughout the entire game.
Sophomore goaltender Maddie Henry continued her strong play in net, saving five of the six shots she faced. Henry has allowed just one goal in each of her last two starts.
She had originally been splitting time with senior goaltender Kelly Johnson; however, Johnson has recently been sidelined by multiple injuries, allowing Henry to become the full-time starter and really up her game.
“This was a huge win for us, especially heading into the final three games of our season, because it gave us some concrete points to work on,” Hornibrook said. “But we also had several positive takeaways from the weekend, including our success in terms of creating shots on goal.”
The Red will look to get to .500 in Ivy League play when the team travels to New Jersey to take on first-place No. 14 Princeton Saturday. The Tigers moved to 5-0 in league play with a win over No. 15 Harvard, officially eliminating Cornell from contention in the Ivy League race.
“I believe we can beat Princeton, just like last year, especially if we play at the same caliber that we played against Harvard,” senior captain Isabel Josephs said. “We have proven that we are able to compete with the best teams in the Ivy League, and I am confident that we can come out and perform.”
The Red has just three games remaining in the 2017 season.