Despite being within striking distance of Penn State for the majority of the game, the Red fell victim to a late Nittany Lion scoring run Saturday and lost to the Big Ten powerhouse, 16-11.
“We played well in spirits, but then had too many lapses,” said head coach Jenny Graap ’86.
The Red (1-1) got off to a hot start — junior attack Tomasina Leska, who had three goals in the game, and sophomore attack Caroline Allen, who had four, scored four straight goals in the first six minutes of the game.
Down early, Penn State (3-1) responded with a four-goal run of its own, before senior captain and midfielder Ida Farinholt found the back of the net to give the Red the lead once again.
The Nittany Lions scored thrice more before halftime to take a 7-5 lead.
The Red never let more than a three-goal gap develop during the second half — even narrowing the deficit to one goal after junior captain attack Sarah Phillips capitalized on a man-up opportunity with 10 minutes remaining.
The Nittany Lions, however, went on another four-goal run to put away the Red.
“We had a few lulls in the game where we allowed Penn State to take the momentum back,” said senior captain and midfielder Taylor Reed. “We weren’t able to regain it towards the end when they pulled away.”
Defensively, Farinholt caused two turnovers and sophomore goalkeeper Katie McGahan was exceptional in the net, making 11 saves for the Red.
“We need to focus on bringing the energy for the full 60 minutes of the game,” Phillips said. “We can’t start strong and then get complacent. We have to bring 110 percent for the full game. Also, making in-game adjustments has to come a little quicker — they had a lot of opportunities on the eight meter and we have to mitigate the amount of chances they get 1-on-1 with our goalie.”
The Red will look to stick to fundamentals as it begins Ivy League play and its quest to defend its Ivy League title this weekend against No.14 Penn (2-0).
“We will focus mainly on getting back to the basics and making sure our skills and stickwork are where they need to be,” Phillips said. “Also, that the foundation of our team, the discipline, is back at 100 percent because without the foundation of our program being solid we can’t be successful and win games.”
Cornell will kick off Ancient Eight play at 1 p.m. Saturday at Schoellkopf Field.
“Penn will be an exciting game to open our Ivy League play with,” Reed said. “We are excited to get to work this week improving on what we’ve learned in our first two games.”