Courtesy of Sideline Photos / The Ivy League

Princeton wasn't upset, and the Red was disappointed as its season came to an end in New York.

May 5, 2019

Women’s Lacrosse Eliminated From Ivy League Tournament by No. 10 Princeton

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Cornell women’s lacrosse lost to Princeton in the first game of the Ivy League tournament, 11-6, marking the end of its season.

The Red was the No. 4 seed in the tournament while the nationally-ranked No. 10 Tigers were the Ivy League’s top seed.

The Tigers validated their seeding as the eventual winners of the tournament, overpowering Penn in the finals on Sunday 13-9. No. 3 seed Penn narrowly upset Dartmouth, 15-14, on Friday to earn its berth to the final game.

Despite its underdog status, Cornell put up a fight, nearly making a second-half comeback.

“We never counted ourselves out for a second,” junior captain Mary Kate Bonanni said.

Even after falling behind 6-0 just over fifteen minutes into gameplay, the Red maintained its determination to win the game.

“Princeton came out strong right away and it became tougher and tougher for our team with each goal they scored,” Bonanni said. “However, we were able to stay composed and competitive and we never gave up on the feeling that we could win the game.”

The Red got on the scoreboard with an unassisted goal by sophomore Olivia Jensen, and followed with another unassisted goal, this time by sophomore Grace Paletta, just over a minute later.

“We cleaned up a lot of our play as the first half was ending,” Bonanni said.

But Princeton responded with two more of its own goals, so the Red entered halftime facing a six-point deficit.

“We had overcome a much worse deficit the weekend before,” said Bonanni. “The coaches used that to motivate us and give us a lot of confidence heading into the second half.”

And indeed, just like last week’s game against Princeton, Cornell had a better second half than Princeton, outscoring the Tigers 4-3 in the final thirty minutes of play, beginning with a three-goal run.

Junior captain Caroline Allen scored the first two of those goals, and senior Shannon Bertscha scored the third. Each goal was unassisted.

Princeton scored another before Allen found the back of the net for her third goal of the game, putting the Red within three points of the Tigers.

But Princeton scored two more, and ultimately the Red was not able to overcome the deficit. The final buzzer rang with an 11-6 loss for the Red, meaning it would also be the final buzzer of the season for Cornell.

Despite the loss, the Red outshot Princeton 22-20. The Tigers’ goalkeeper, Sam Fish, frustrated the Red all game long. The Ivy League Goaltender of the Year made a career-high-tying 16 saves to defend the Tigers’ net.

Junior goalkeeper Katie McGahan made nine saves for the Red — four in the first half, and five in the second.

The Red’s season record is 8-8, but only one loss was dealt by an unranked team. This was the Red’s eighth appearance in the Ivy League tournament since its inception in 2010.