Unfazed by snow flurries and a windchill of 3 degrees Fahrenheit, Cornell dismantled the Colgate Raiders 14-6 in an impressive display of athleticism and tenacity.
“Today’s weather was a challenge,” said head coach Jenny Graap ’86, “but our leaders did a good job keeping the team motivated and working hard.”
Sophomore Ellie Walsh set the tone for the game, scoring for the Red 10 seconds into the first half after winning a draw and taking it all the way to the goal.
The Raiders (2-4) nipped at the Red’s heels throughout the rest of the first half, keeping the game within reach. After Colgate countered Walsh’s goal with one of its own, Cornell (2-2, 1-0 Ivy) responded with two more to go up 3-1. The Raiders found a way to hang on; Colgate would score one and Cornell would answer with two. The Red carried a four-goal lead into the second half.
The second half was a different story. The Red dominated, putting seven points on the board before Colgate was able to score again.
After scoring nine unanswered goals and shutting out Colgate for more than 30 minutes, the Red was able to walk off the field with its second victory of the season and remain undefeated at home.
This was the second consecutive game in which the Red shut out its opponent for more than half an hour and was its largest margin of victory thus far.
“We are trying to focus on the effort and the energy on the field vs the final score,” Graap said. “Our defensive effort was solid, but we need our midfielders to help more consistently in transitioning the ball up the field into our offense.”
Walsh led the way for the Red with three goals and two assists, both of which are career highs. Junior captain and midfielder Caroline Allen had two goals and an assist, while senior captain and attacker Sarah Phillips and sophomore midfielder Grace Paletta each tallied two goals of their own.
Defensively, junior captain and defender Mary Kate Bonanni had an impressive game, limiting Colgate’s most prolific scorer to just an assist on the day. Junior goalkeeper Katie McGahan came up big for the Red once again, stopping 13 of the 17 shots that came her way for a save percentage of .765. McGahan currently leads the NCAA in save percentage at .629.
Always looking to improve, the Red will look to tidy up its transition as it heads into another busy week.
“It’s important to take every game as a clean slate,” said senior attacker Tomasina Leska. “With each game we’ve noticed aspects we can improve on, so we’re going to work on those and focus on those this week. That way we can hopefully be even better for Columbia.”
Looking to extend its winning streak, the Red will head to New York City to take on the Columbia Lions (2-4, 0-1 Ivy) on Saturday at 1 p.m. It will then step away from conference play again to face Marist (2-2) in Poughkeepsie on Monday at 3 p.m.