Jason Wu/Sun Senior Editor

Midfielder/forward Mariana Kessinger '26 fights for the ball in the Marist penalty box at Berman Field on August 28, 2022.

October 2, 2023

Women’s Soccer Beats Colgate, Falls to Dartmouth in Low-Scoring Contests

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Following a 4-2 defeat to Princeton, women’s soccer (3-2-4, 0-2-0 Ivy) looked to rebound against Colgate (2-9-2, 1-2-1 Patriot) on Tuesday, Sept. 26 and Dartmouth (7-0-3, 2-0-0 Ivy) on Saturday, Sept. 30, resulting in a split pair of contests.

Junior Erica Fox started both games in goal for the Red, saving 14 of the 15 shots that came her way, and putting Cornell in two positions to win. 

Against Colgate, the match opened up with both teams trading possessions, allowing the respective defenses to settle in. Junior defender Cecily Pokigo led the defensive effort, halting multiple Raiders’ efforts to enter the goalie box, and junior forward Sydney Malaga guided the offensive attack.

In the seventh minute, the Red created a golden opportunity when freshman midfielder Emily Gibbons and sophomore midfielder Abigail Bishara exchanged passes, leading to a shot from Bishara which flew over the goal. 

Colgate’s best scoring chance of the first half came 15 minutes in when the Raiders took the first corner kick of the game. Crowding the box, the ball crossed and nearly made its way past the dive of Fox, hitting the post and bouncing away.

Head coach Rob Ferguson noted the effort of his defense, emphasizing their aggressive yet intelligent play. 

“[Our defense] was very disciplined,” Ferguson said. “They were organized. They were pretty clean in terms of clearances and dealing with balls. I thought they did a good job with the ball, [trying] to play and break down the other team.”

After a 0-0 halftime score, both teams picked up the physicality for the second 45 minutes, with six fouls and a Colgate yellow card being awarded. 

Just as it seemed as if a draw was approaching, senior midfielder Reagan Pauwels crossed the ball to Malaga who headed a shot past the reach of the goalkeeper to give Cornell the 1-0 advantage and ultimate victory.

The Red’s second match of the week against the Dartmouth Big Green looked similar to the 1-0 win versus Colgate, except this time Cornell was on the losing side of the scoreboard.

 With only eight shots from either team, the chances were slim, but Dartmouth’s Hailey Rorick managed to sneak one into the net in the 81st minute, leading to a 1-0 Big Green win.

“We matched Dartmouth in shots and in creating opportunities, but we didn’t make one stick,” Ferguson said. “The game was back and forth in terms of momentum, and we felt throughout that we needed to take better care of the ball in some pretty rudimentary moments. Had we done so I think the outcome could well have been different, which is frustrating. We talk a lot about executing the basics.”

With five of the last six games taking place against Ivy League opponents, Ferguson recognizes the grit and mental toughness the team will have to endure. 

“It will be a long bus ride back,” Ferguson said. “I don’t think we did enough to win the game necessarily, but I don’t think we deserved to lose it. This is how the game can go, and we need to focus on the next game quickly [as more Ivy League opponents come up].”

With the win and loss, the Red turns its attention to more Ivy League play when the team takes on Columbia (7-2-1, 1-0-1 Ivy), at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 4 at Berman Field. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN+.