This past weekend, women’s lacrosse (2-2, 0-1 Ivy) competed against No. 10 Princeton (3-0, 1-0 Ivy) for its first Ivy League match of the season. In a competitive game, the Red was defeated, 13-12, dropping to 2-2 on the season.
“Opening up our Ivy season with Princeton was a challenge, and I am extremely proud of the effort Cornell put forth,” said Head Coach Jenny Graap.
Grad goalie Katie McGahan finished the game by tying her career-high of 18 saves,
as she continually kept Cornell within striking distance. During the second and third quarters, McGahan racked up 13 saves to help fuel a comeback from its 6-2 disadvantage.
“To be honest, I don’t put a lot of weight on personal achievements,” McGahan said. “I think it’s a lot of fun to play in competitive games, and having a strong effort on the defensive end on Saturday definitely contributed to the competitiveness of the game in the end.”
The Red controlled the possession battle in the third period. Senior midfielder Shannon Brazier tied up the game at 8-8 with an unassisted goal. Four minutes later, senior attacker Amanda Cramer added to the action, tacking on back-to-back goals to give Cornell a 10-9 lead. While on that adrenaline rush, freshman attacker Josie Vogel and senior midfielder Genevieve Dewinter scored consecutive goals to grow the lead to 12-9 with 8:12 left in the third.
However, that marked the end of its streak, and its goals, as Princeton stormed back, scoring with only seconds left in the third and pitching a 3-0 shutout in the fourth quarter to secure a 13-12 win.
“The game was intense, and it was an epic battle right down to the final whistle,” Graap said. “Our goalkeeper, Katie McGahan, had an incredible game –– she was a brick wall in the net turning back 18 shots and tying her career-best.”
The Red fought to stay in the game. However, the Tigers consistently kept its lead throughout, and the moment they lost it, they raced back to finalize the win.
“Ivy games are always difficult because the fight never stops,” McGahan said. You can never take your foot off the gas. Princeton, in particular, is a very skilled team which makes the fight even more intense.”
Cramer was the star shooter of the game, securing three goals. Alongside Cramer was junior attacker Katie Castiello, scoring two goals and one assist. DeWinter and Vogel added to the fire with two goals each.
“Amanda Cramer had a stellar game sparking our transition and leading our attacking unit,” Graap said.
McGahan’s number of saves accounted for the Tigers outshooting Cornell, 40-25, as well as having substantially fewer turnovers, 20-6.
“Ultimately I think Princeton edged us out in the end because they were the cleaner team,” McGahan said. “A couple of unfortunate calls against us and avoidable turnovers opened the door for the Tigers to take the lead.”
However, Cornell did exert its dominance in the draw controls, leading 21-8. Junior midfielder Annie Thomas secured seven draws, Cramer with six and junior defender Hilary Hoover came in with four.
“Annie Thomas was outstanding on the draw control and her dominance allowed Cornell to be in the driver’s seat with possession,” Graap said.
Next up, the Red will compete against Colgate (0-3) on Schoellkopf Field on Wednesday, March 9 at 5 p.m.
“We’re continuing to work on specific areas of improvement across the entire field but the overarching theme is effort,” McGahan said. “We play well when there is a full team effort and that’s what we saw on Saturday. Our success as a team is built on the foundation of hard work from each individual member regardless of their minutes on the field on game day. We’ve been focused this week on continuing to work hard, play together and not get bogged down by any individual mistakes.”