Despite an exceptional defensive showing, Cornell field hockey fell 2-0 to Columbia University this Sunday in New York City.
Columbia (4-3) responded well to the Red’s (2-7) strong start. In the fifth minute, the Lions’ goalkeeper saved a shot on goal by Cornell’s sophomore Grace Royer. Columbia quickly took offensive control, and during the 17th minute, the Lion’s Danielle Buttinger scrambled to the right of the goal and scored, putting Columbia up on the scoreboard.
The Lions’ offensive domination continued through the rest of the game. In the first five minutes of the second half, the Lions took a 2-0 lead and never looked back. In total, Columbia held the advantage in shots on goal (13-3) and penalty corners (12-1).
“The thing that’s really important is that we keep and optimistic view of what can happen in every game and that we work together and play together,” head coach Stephen Simpson said. “That’s what we have to do and if we do those things, we give ourselves a chance in every game we play.”
The Lions, however, struggled to convert most of their opportunities as the Red displayed strong defensive tactics. Cornell goalkeeper junior Maddie Henry, who was named to the All-Ivy second team last year, notched a career high in saves turning away a total of 13 shots.
“Columbia has a really good attack penalty corner unit,” Simpson said. “I would have liked to not have so many corners against us, but we defended really well against what Columbia does.”
One of the Red’s main struggles this year has been goal scoring. On four separate occasions this season the Lions have eclipsed three or more goals per game, while the Red sit at a measly season total of 7 goals.
“We were playing against the friction of their defense,” Simpson said. “In the first half we got into the circle a couple of times and then in the second half, when we really needed to get outcomes, we were getting to the edge of the circle struggling a little bit from there. We got some shots, but some of our shots weren’t shots that were likely to score.”
The Red will face off against Yale this Friday at noon in a home game, looking to notch their first conference win. The game will also be streamed via ESPN+.