This past weekend in Princeton, New Jersey, the Red barely fell to Princeton 1-0 in a tightly contested match against a dominant Tigers roster. Senior goalkeeper Miranda Iannone set another career high for saves in a game with a total of 10.
Princeton’s (13-2-1, 5-1 Ivy League) Grace Sherman scored the team’s lone goal about 31:30 into the match. Although the Red lost the game, the team produced the kind of play that challenged the Tigers and kept them from scoring for the rest of the match.
Hoping to end the season on a high note, Cornell women’s soccer (3-10-2, 1-5 Ivy League) will face off at Dartmouth (6-7-1, 1-5 Ivy League) this Saturday, Nov. 6, in the final game of the season. No matter the result, the Red will end the season with its best record since 2016.
For the two fifth-year players on the team this year, captains Maddie Hoitink and Naomi Jaffe, the end to this season is bittersweet. The two defenders have watched the program evolve over the last five years into one that emphasizes a team-first mentality and a positive team culture in their collective opinion, especially since Rob Ferguson became head coach.
“We have finally devoted the time and effort into establishing an identity in the way we play and have stayed committed to that identity in the way that we come out every practice and game,” Jaffe said. “I think that’s a huge reason as to why the quality of soccer has increased.”
Hoitink’s final season of college soccer took a turn early in the season when she tore her ACL. Although the start to the season was emotional, Hoitink was quickly swept up into the energy and excitement about the season.
“[It’s been] a really positive season and I am confident that… we are better than what our record shows,” Hoitink said.
Heading into their final game, Jaffe and Hoitink are thinking more about the team than themselves. And the two captains said they know that if the Red enters its final game ready to “bring it” for 90 minutes, they can succeed.
“It’s a last chance to show who we really are,” Hoitink said. “We just have so much heart and so much grit and so much talent.”
Jaffe and Hoitink look forward to their final game against Dartmouth. More importantly, they are proud of the strides that the Red has taken this year and look forward to watching the program continue to improve.
“This last game is the icing on the cake,” Jaffe said. “But I think that the entire season of what we’ve accomplished so far means more to me … I’m just really happy that I chose to do this season, especially along with my entire journey with Cornell soccer. I’ll be able to look back on it with so much pride for the rest of my life.”