After two tough losses to start its season, Cornell women’s lacrosse opened up Ivy League play in decisive fashion, blowing past Harvard, 11-5.
“We had great energy going into [the] game,” said senior captain and attacker Sarah Phillips. “It was our first conference game at home on Schoelkopf so we were super excited and ready to battle for a win.”
Harvard (2-2, 0-1 Ivy) was the first to get on the board, scoring five minutes into the first half. However, Cornell countered with a goal of its own when sophomore midfielder Grace Paletta found the back of the net in her first play of the season.
The Crimson added another goal, but the Red then scored six consecutive goals in the half to head into the second period with a five-goal lead.
The second half got off to a slow start, with neither team scoring until almost 11 minutes in, when junior captain and midfielder Caroline Allen netted a free position goal.
Harvard responded with a free position goal of its own, but the Red scored another three unanswered to lead by eight with less than nine minutes to play.
The Crimson posted another two goals in the last four minutes of the game to narrow Cornell’s margin of victory to six goals, but the Red ultimately ran away with its first win of 2019.
“Even though we had a couple turnovers, our effort really pulled us through,” Allen said. “We had great patience on offense, and our defense was really organized. Also, [junior goalkeeper] Katie McGahan had some great saves when we needed them.”
Cornell and Harvard both took 17 shots on goal, but McGahan made the difference for the Red, tallying a season-high 12 saves.
Six different players scored for the Red, which was led by Phillips, who tallied four goals and an assist. Allen and freshman midfielder Shannon Brazier each netted two goals, while Paletta, senior attacker Tomasina Leska and freshman midfielder Genevieve DeWinter each found the back of the net once.
Looking forward, the Red will look to continue its momentum and improve upon its weaknesses.
“Our transition game could absolutely be improved on and is something we plan to work on,” Phillips said. “Also, limiting the unforced turnovers and just cleaning up our stick work all over the field.”
Cornell heads into a busy couple weeks that sees it playing three games within eight days. The Red will be back in action at home at 5 p.m. Tuesday when it takes on Colgate (2-2) for a midweek tilt. Then, Cornell will then hit the road to face Columbia (2-3, 0-1 Ivy) on Saturday and Marist (2-2) on Monday.
“Going into the next couple weeks it’s going to get busy with midweek games,” Allen said, “but we just need to take it one game at a time and keep growing and improving.”