As women’s soccer continues to ramp up its season, it had an opportunity to kick start a strong campaign this past week when it took on Marist and Syracuse. The Red was up to the occasion, shutting out both of its opponents and allowing just three shots on goal across the two games. With a 2-0 win over the Red Foxes and a 1-0 victory over the Orange, Cornell remains undefeated heading into week three of the season.
The Red (2-0-1) was coming off a 2-2 draw against Lehigh. Cornell opened the 2022 season with three consecutive losses, and the team was determined to flip the script this year.
Cornell traveled to Poughkeepsie, New York, to take on Marist (0-2-2) on Wednesday, Aug. 30. When the two teams met last year, the Red Hawks got the better of the Red, winning, 2-1.
The Red dominated the contest from start to finish, outshooting Marist, 13-4, with six shots on goal to the Red Hawks’ one. Marist’s lone shot on goal came in the 40th minute, but was saved by sophomore goalkeeper Natalie Medugno, who was playing in her third career start.
On offense, Cornell struck early and continued to keep up the pressure. The Red broke through in the 13th minute, when senior midfielder Reagan Pauwels found senior forward Ava Laden over the top for what would be the game winning goal.
Cornell continued to have chances throughout the first half, but could not convert. Nevertheless, the team was able to add insurance in the 55th minute, when senior midfielder Sophie Weeter capitalized on a set piece, pouncing on a loose ball in the box and drilling it into the back of the net. The Red continued to hold on in the back end, limiting the Red Hawks to just one shot in the second half, and won the match, 2-0.
Cornell had less than a week to celebrate its victory, as the team returned home on Sunday, Sept. 3 to host Syracuse (2-4) at Berman Field. Entering Sunday’s contest, Cornell had yet to beat the Orange, going 0-10-3, including a 3-0 loss last year.
With history on the line, the Red did not disappoint in front of the home faithful. Medugno continued to shine in goal, making two saves en route to her second consecutive and third overall clean sheet in just four collegiate appearances.
The difference in the game came in the 35th minute. Coming off a throw-in, junior forward Sydney Malaga found senior forward Mia Gonzalez open on the right side of the 18-yard box.
The Orange’s goalkeeper got a hand on Gonzalez’s shot, but it was not enough to stop the ball from finding the back of the net. The goal was the first in Gonzalez’s collegiate career, and proved to be the game-winner.
The Orange registered zero shots on goal in the second half, and the Red broke its winless streak, taking the match, 1-0.
Cornell will look to keep its undefeated streak alive next Sunday, Sept. 10, when it travels to Buffalo, New York, to take on the University at Buffalo (3-1-1). The game will be live streamed on YouTube.