Cornell Field Hockey entered this past weekend with a 7-4 record, looking to improve their standing in both the national and Ivy League rankings — with tough matches against NCAA-ranked No. 16 Princeton Tigers (8-5) on Friday and the No. 10 ranked American University Eagles (9-3) on Sunday.
But the Red was unable to secure a victory in either match, as they fell to Princeton 3-2 in overtime, and then to the Eagles by a score of 3-1.
The Red kicked off the weekend with a road game in Princeton, New Jersey. The Tigers entered the matchup as the defending Ivy League champions and is 4-0 in Ivy League play this year.
The game did not start off well for the Red, as two key players were forced to leave the field with injuries. First, junior goalkeeper Aerin Park left the game after the first quarter, and did not return for the remainder of the game or the match against American.
She was replaced by senior keeper Laura Kubit, but her status remains unknown heading into this weekend. Additionally, junior midfielder Isabella Palde took a stick to the head in the second quarter, but only missed part of the game.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Tigers struck first with two goals by junior Ali McCarthy. With five minutes remaining in the second quarter, the Red cut the deficit in half with a goal off of a penalty corner by junior defender Caroline Ramsey, her team-leading 14th of the season.
The Red received a penalty stroke early in the third quarter, when Tigers’ goalkeeper Isla Okkinga ran into sophomore midfielder Elizabeth Friedberg. Junior defender Julia Darno took the attempt and was successful, tying the game at two apiece.
Neither team was able to convert in the fourth quarter, and the score remained tied at the end of regulation. This marked the Red’s second overtime game of the season, the first being just six days before against Penn, which ended in a one goal loss. This narrative would play out once again, as just under two minutes into overtime, freshman Beth Yeager was able to find the back of the net to seal a 3-2 victory for the Tigers.
With both goals in this game coming off of penalty scenarios, Head Coach Andy Smith spoke about the Red’s issues with offensive production in open play.
“It’s an area that’s costing us dear,” Smith said. “If we could have finished our chances from open play throughout the season, we’d be 11-2 right now, and I think it’s something that we’ve got to refocus on in practice this week.”
Looking to bounce back, the Red headed to Washington, D.C. to face American University on Sunday. The Eagles opened the scoring in the first quarter, but the Red had its first opportunity to respond when they were awarded a penalty corner in the second.
It was once again the trio of senior defender Kate MacGillis, junior midfielder Bridget Mahoney and Caroline Ramsey who came together to tie up the game.
This goal was Ramsey’s 15th on the season, which broke the Cornell single-season record for goals scored.
“I think [Ramsey] is currently one of the best players in the country,” Smith said. “She’s having to carry the load for the entire team, and they couldn’t be prouder of her.”
Ramsey still has four more games to build on this mark. Mahoney also set a new Cornell field hockey single-season record with 14 assists. Although the game marked a stellar achievement for Ramsey and Mahoney, the Red was unable to back it up with a win.
The Eagles were able to connect on penalty corners in the second and the third to take a 3-1 lead into the fourth quarter. With a scoreless fourth quarter, the Eagles secured a 3-1 win and the Red fell to 7-6 on the season.
The Red will look to get back in form when they host Ivy League rival Brown at Dodson Field on Saturday, Oct. 23 for senior day, where Smith said seniors will receive proper acknowledgement with a short ceremony after the game.