Field hockey continues to hit off their season by racking up another win against Wagner College this past Friday in Staten Island.
Achieving a 2-1 score, Wagner (2-2, 0-0 NEC) tried to maintain a tough battle against the Red (2-0, 0-0 Ivy).
“I think where we are at the moment is that we beat Wagner on Friday and we didn’t play certainly well but we found a way to get the job done,” said Head Coach Andy Smith. “Their style of play and their intensity surprises us a little bit and I give them a lot of credit, and they’re a very, very good team.”
Right in the first quarter, Cornell came out with an intensity that was recorded into a close goal within the first six-minute by senior defenseman Caroline Ramsey. Senior forward Claire Jones wanted to continue what Ramsey started, and a few minutes later, she led a Cornell breakaway and assisted freshman forward Grace Leahy in the first goal of the game.
“That goal, like all goals, gave us a little bit of a cushion that was much needed,” Smith said.
In the second quarter, Wagner responded to the goal by quickly finding their rhythm and attempting to score four separate times, compared to the Red’s one shot.
Entering the second half of the game, with a scoreless second and third period, the score stood at 1-0.
“I think we’ve got a newfound grit and determination,” Smith said. “…We clung on in the second half, especially when we didn’t play very well and obviously we’ve got a great weapon in terms of Caroline Ramsey with penalty corners.”
The fourth quarter brought more of a competitive edge as Cornell achieved their second goal off a penalty corner early on by Ramsey, securing her first point of the season. With a 2-0 lead, the Seahawks didn’t allow the big lead to last as they found the back of the net only 16 seconds later.
Cornell was outshot 15-7, but, alongside the defense team, senior goalkeeper Aerin Park stayed strong in the net with six saves. Even with Wagner’s eight penalty corners, Park defended the net impeccably, finalizing Cornell’s win 2-1.
“Aerin Park.. she’s one of the top goalkeepers in the country,” Smith said, referring to Park’s sixth place rank on the NCAA list of field hockey goalkeepers.
Trying to continue their hot streak, Cornell faced off against the University of Albany (3-2, 0-0 America East). Competing in another intense, back-and-forth game, the Red came up short and fell to UAlbany, 2-1.
“We haven’t clicked yet, and we found a way to win games and unfortunately Sunday, we didn’t…” Smith said. “We missed chances and that really cost us.”
The first half of the game was scoreless, but UAblany had consistent control and achieved nine shots between those two quarters. Cornell only racked up three, all in the second quarter.
Park commanded the net as she notched up four saves in the first quarter.
“Aerin Park was unbelievable,” Smith said. “I think she had 13 saves on Sunday and I think that she kept us in the game and gave us a platform for us to go on and compete and we did. We tied the game up with five minutes to go.”
The third quarter brought more activity as UAlbany achieved the first point of the game with over two minutes left.
Fifty-five minutes into the game and in the fourth quarter, Cornell scored its first goal by senior defender Caroline Ramsey through a penalty corner assisted by senior forward Natalie Stone and Jones.
“We put ourselves in a situation where we allowed external forces to influence the game and it cost us so we weren’t very happy in the end,” Smith said. “We kind of shut ourselves in the foot a little bit.”
However, quickly responding and with just over one minute remaining, UAlbany scored the final and winning goal of the game.
This was the Red’s first loss of the season and they hope for better results in their next two games.
“It’s all about us… If we play well, we are going to be tough to beat by anybody,” Smith said.
Next weekend, Cornell will travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan to compete first against Penn State University at 3 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 17. Following, the Red will face off against the University of Michigan at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 18.