Ben Parker / Sun Assistant Photography Editor

Cornell earned its 23rd straight win over Columbia.

March 11, 2020

Women’s Lacrosse Ends Season With 20-2 Thumping of Columbia

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In its second and final Ivy League matchup of the season, Cornell women’s lacrosse (4-2, 2-0 Ivy League) dominated Columbia (0-7, 0-3) to improve to 2-0 in Ivy League play.

The 20-2 win over the Lions was a big bounceback performance by the Red, who suffered a disappointing loss to Colgate last Tuesday. Unfortunately, Cornell’s season will end with that victory as the Ivy League announced the cancellation of spring sports due to COVID-19.

The Red has been historically dominant over Columbia, as it has beaten the Lions in 23 straight games. Saturday’s contest was no different. To start the game, the Red put up two quick goals by junior Grace Paletta and sophomore Shannon Brazier, and it never trailed for the rest of the game.

Columbia responded with a free position goal two minutes later to cut the lead in half, but the Red went on an offensive tear and never looked back. The team went on to score seven consecutive goals, courtesy of freshman Sophie Ward, junior Ellie Walsh, two by freshman Katie Castiello, freshman Sophie Alois, Paletta and senior Caroline Allen.

“We worked really hard last week during practice on really getting into a flow and working together as a whole team unit rather than just playing attack, and then transition, and then defense,” Castiello said. “We really wanted everything to flow together so it would be a full team effort.”

Columbia’s second and final goal came at the 10:07 mark in the first quarter. After that, Cornell scored the final 11 goals, which included three more in the first half and eight in the second half, to bring the final tally to 20-2.

The team shut down the Lions for the entirety of the second half, giving the Red its first shutout in a half since a 10-4 win against Penn in 2017.

This game highlighted many outstanding offensive performances. Ten players recorded at least one goal, with six of them recording multiple goals. Paletta and Castiello each found the back of the net four times.

“I think the biggest piece for us on Saturday was communication,” said Paletta. “We just worked together as a team, we played for one another, and at the end of the game it worked out for us.”

On the defensive end, the Red was just as dominant, holding the Lions to only 11 shots on goal compared to Cornell’s 25. Columbia also only recorded five saves compared to the Red’s nine, five by freshman goalie Sloane Loveless and four by senior goalie Katie McGahan.

“We can take this win as momentum moving forward because it was a great team win, but it also is great to learn from because it definitely wasn’t a perfect game,” Castiello said. “It’s just a great step forward for our team especially since it was an Ivy win, so that’s great for our season moving forward.”

“I think [we can] use this game as a building block,” said Paletta, echoing her teammate’s comment. “We know what we can do when we work together and play for one another.”

Cornell was scheduled to host No. 14 James Madison on Sunday, but the rest of its season has been canceled, shutting down what was shaping up to be a promising campaign.