Julia Nagel/Sun Assistant Photography Editor

Cornell will take a 7-4 record into the last stretch to close out the season.

October 14, 2021

Field Hockey Suffers Overtime Loss to Penn, Regroups in Victory Over Bucknell

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Riding high on a four-game winning streak, Cornell field hockey had its second back-to-back of the season this past weekend. The Red began with a road matchup in Philadelphia against longtime rival Penn, and followed with a Sunday afternoon game against Bucknell. Cornell fell in a hard-fought OT loss to Penn, 2-1, but was able to bounce back on Sunday against the Bison with a 4-2 win.

Continuing its Ivy League schedule on Saturday, the battle against Penn (4-6, 1-2 Ivy League) was tightly contested from the start. As the two teams fought for ball control and position, it was eventually the Red (7-4, 2-1) that struck first in the first quarter. 

On Cornell’s first penalty corner, the trio of junior midfielder Bridget Mahoney, senior defender Kate MacGillis and junior defender Caroline Ramsey connected, with Ramsey netting her 10th goal of the season, which currently leads all Ivy League players. However, the lead didn’t last long as the Quakers responded, with 45 seconds left in the opening quarter. Neither team was able to score in the second quarter, and the match went to halftime tied 1-1.

The second half once again became a battle for possession as both teams attempted to gain ground and put shots on goal. By the end of the match, the Red had racked up eight shots, seven shots on goal and six penalty corners. The Quakers had 18, nine and six, respectively. However, neither team was able to find the back of the net, and the match went into overtime. 

This marked the Red’s first overtime period since Oct. 5, 2019, when it took home a victory against Columbia in a shootout. This match did not end in Cornell’s favor, though, as Penn was able to convert nearly 10 minutes into the period, giving the Quakers a 2-1 win. Penn was in control for all of overtime, outshooting the Red, 4-0. Still, Head Coach Andy Smith recognized the fitness levels demonstrated by his players.

“I think we’re probably one of the fittest teams in Division I right now,” Smith said. “I think we made some boneheaded decisions in overtime, which ultimately cost us the game, but we can fix those. That’s an easy fix.”

The Red had its opportunity to split the weekend the following day when it traveled to Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, to take on Bucknell (6-6, 2-1 Patriot League). After a scoreless first period, it was the Bison who struck first, with senior Emily Doyle scoring just minutes into the second quarter. The Red was unable to respond before the half and went into the locker room facing a deficit. 

Cornell’s fortunes changed in the third quarter as its offense came alive. Junior defender Julia Darmo scored first on a penalty stroke to tie the game at 1-1. Shortly after, the Red had a pair of penalty corner opportunities, and with its reliable trio of MacGillis, Mahoney and Ramsey, the team converted on both. The third quarter ended in stark contrast to the first half, with the Red in command with a 3-1 lead. 

The Bison were able to cut into the Red’s lead in the fourth quarter when junior Noor Kaur scored on a rebound that came off of junior goalkeeper Aerin Park. With the Red still leading by a goal, the Bison pulled their goalkeeper for an extra attacker in the final minute. Ramsey soon capitalized, converting on another penalty corner.

The score gave Ramsey a hat trick on the day and marked her 13th goal of the season. The Red took the match by a final score of 4-2. Halftime proved key for the Red in this game, as Smith was able to make important adjustments to the scheme.

“We made a couple of defensive adjustments and one offensive adjustment at halftime,” Smith said. “We wanted to control how they were trying to play. They were trying to play long balls up our sideline which we’ve cut away. And then we changed a little bit of our shape offensively with certain players, and allowed us to get Olivia Friedberg forward, and she won the penalty stroke.”

The Red travels to New Jersey to face Princeton (6-5) in a nationally televised game on ESPNU on Friday, Oct. 15. After that matchup, Cornell will venture down to Washington, D.C. to face American University (7-3) on Sunday.