While the boys in red were soundly handling Brown’s football team over Homecoming Weekend, a few blocks down the road, the Cornell women’s soccer team fought hard against the Bears, but ultimately came up just a bit short in a 1-0 loss.
Not only was Saturday’s game the last Ivy League home game for the Red, it was also Senior Day, when the entire senior class was honored for their time and experience with the team during their collegiate career.
A quarter of the 32-woman roster was honored in a ceremony before the start of the match, and emotions were running high.
Co-captain and graduating senior Whitney Farber described her experience walking onto Berman Field for her last home game.
“It’s hard to describe the feeling,” she said. “Walking onto the field, I thought about some of the great times we have had on Berman and what an amazing opportunity it was to play at this school.”
Her co-captain and fellow classmate Kaylee Fitzgerald iterated similar feelings.
“Saturday’s game definitely had a different feel to it knowing it would be the last time our senior class played on Berman,” she said. “It was a big game for us, and the entire team stepped up and put together a really strong 90 minutes.”
The team will soon say goodbye to eight seniors, including Farber and Fitzgerald along with Paige DeLoach, Meera Dheer, Tess Pullano, Julia Schubauer and Katerina Weikert.
Unfortunately for the group, their final home game was not a great success, as the Bears scored in the 82nd minute after a foul was called against the Red within the penalty box. The single goal of the game came off the ensuing penalty kick, and at that point, it was too late in the game for the Red to catch up.
“I thought the team played with a lot of heart and created a lot of opportunities to score,” Farber said. “Obviously I wish the result had been different, but I loved how hard everyone worked and the dedication that everyone put forth. Even though the result was not what we wanted, I was proud of the team and the effort everyone put in.”
The focus of the season has been on working on the Red’s foundation, especially with the change in coaching staff from former head coach Patrick Farmer to current coach Dwight Hornibrook. The team may not enjoy its record of 2-7-3 for the season so far, but both captains have shown confidence in the future of the team as they and their fellow seniors graduate later this year.
“I don’t think that [our record] reflects how much the team has improved since last year,” Fitzgerald said. “The change in coaching staff has been a big adjustment, but the team has put in a great effort all season and competed well against some very strong teams.”
“The work ethic on the team is great so I think they will build off of things we learned this year to be really successful in the upcoming years,” Farber added. “I think they have an opportunity to do really well in the future, so I am excited to watch them reach that potential.”
And as they leave, Fitzgerald and Farber emphasized that the past four years have gone by exceptionally quickly, and that it’s important for future players make sure to “enjoy every moment of it and to never give less than your best,” Fitzgerald said.
“You will face so many challenges throughout your career here, but don’t let that get to you, you will get through it, so make sure you make the best of these four years,” Farber added.
The season is not over just yet, as the Red has to face Princeton and Dartmouth in the coming weeks. Its next game is at Princeton on Oct. 28.