After earning its first Ivy win of the young 2018 season, Cornell women’s lacrosse will fight a non-conference tilt against Massachusetts this Saturday in Sparks, Maryland.
The Red (3-2, 1-1 Ivy) will enter the competition with a two game winning streak after beating Colgate and Columbia in last week’s games.
“These past two wins give us a lot of momentum going into this weekend’s competition,” said senior captain Ida Farinholt.
But UMass (4-2) has been winning too — it will enter the competition with a three game winning streak after beating Marist, Connecticut and Ohio State.
The Minutewomen averaged 15 points per game in the making of their winning streak, which makes the defensive aspect of the game especially essential, according to senior captain Taylor Reed.
“[UMass] has a solid offensive presence, and we will need to work hard to shut down its scoring locks,” Reed said.
Junior captain Sarah Phillips said the Red’s offensive performances in the last two wins boosted its confidence — which it hopes to keep building this weekend.
“It’s going to be important to ride that wave,” Phillips said. “The focus will be on continuing to find our flow and our chemistry, and with that we will become more and more confident.”
The Red holds a 2-1 advantage over the Minutewomen in the overall series but was left with a bitter taste in its mouth when it last faced the team in 2016 at Schoellkopf Field. In that game, UMass earned a 7-6 victory in the second round of the NCAA tournament. This Saturday will lend the Red a shot at vindication.
“I think that some of the older players on our squad will have a bit of that memory from their last competition against UMass,” said head coach Jenny Graap ’86. “So hopefully they’re fired up with the thought of that chance to avenge.”
This time around, the game will be played on neutral ground, at the U.S. Lacrosse Headquarters in Sparks, Maryland, which Graap says adds an extra element of excitement. Just last weekend, the Cornell men’s lacrosse team earned a victory over nationally ranked Penn State at the same site.
“We’re hoping to bring a good Cornell lacrosse crowd down to Maryland,” Graap said.
With no midweek game, the Red will spend all week preparing to face the Minutewomen.
“They are fast and gritty and scrappy and always come ready to fight,” Phillips said. “It’s important that we don’t look past that and that we focus this week on going hard and competing so we are ready to go come Saturday.”