This past weekend, coming off a historic win against No. 9 Louisville (12-7, 1-5 ACC), Cornell was ready for No. 15 Harvard.
“It wouldn’t have been an upset if we won,” said head coach Andy Smith. “We felt that we had the right game plan and went in with the right mindset.”
In the first quarter, both teams played intense defense with the Red (9-7, 3-3 Ivy) only achieving one shot on goal that failed to find the back of the net.
In the second quarter, Harvard (12-4, 5-1 Ivy) picked up their tempo, with nine offensive corners. The Crimson was able to capitalize on one corner at the end of the half, entering halftime up by one, 1-0.
“We have an incredibly strong DPC unit, Defensive Penalty Corners,” said junior midfielder Claire Wolfe. “That’s the group you see in the goal at the start of a corner […] we practice it every day and have time to just focus on our structure and our tactics.”
After halftime, Cornell made minor changes to its play.
“We came together and realized that we were making minor mistakes in some of the restrictions, like our press. […] And our coaches told us things that they saw on the field that they thought we could do better, like in the outlet,” Wolfe said.
In the first 11 minutes of the half, Wolfe scored her first goal of the season, equalizing the score 1-1, on top of Cornell’s four offensive corners.
The Red’s defensive game stayed strong through the end of the fourth quarter, blocking all three of Harvard’s shots. However, they were not able to get the offensive advantage, leading the team into their first overtime of the season.
“We played very well but we didn’t take advantage of our offensive opportunities when we had them and didn’t execute on our penalty corners [which] cost us the game,” Smith said.
Collegiate field hockey overtime consists of a 10 minute overtime period with seven versus seven gameplay. If the overtime ends with no winner, then teams face off in a stroke competition.
“We did prepare one practice [for overtime strategies] just in case, because Ivy games are always very competitive,” junior midfielder Elizabeth Friedberg. “It’s kind of just expanding our game because there are only so many players on the field. So it’s all about simple passes, kind of slowing down the game and just playing like we’ve practiced all day.”
During overtime, Cornell was not able to gain an offensive edge. The Crimson was awarded a penalty stroke six minutes into overtime and scored. The game ended in a 2-1 loss for the Red.
Field hockey will end their regular season at home on Dodson Field when they face Yale (9-7, 3-3 Ivy) at 12 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5.
“We will put our best foot forward on Saturday and hope to send this amazing group of seniors out with a bang,” Smith said.