Not having lost a single game in regulation since its season-opening loss against Syracuse on Sept. 6, No. 18 Cornell added two more to the win column with wins over Ivy-rival Penn, and a revenge, double overtime win over No. 13 Syracuse.
On Friday, Cornell (10-3, 4-1 Ivy) shutout Penn (6-7, 4-1 Ivy) to hand the Quakers its first conference loss of the season. It was the Red’s second consecutive shutout after blanking Yale, 3-0, on Oct. 7. Both goals in the 2-0 shutout were scored by none other than senior defender/midfielder Caroline Ramsey, for her 50th and 51st career goals. She is the first Cornell player to reach the 50-goal threshold. Freshman goalkeeper Martha Broderick earned her second straight shutout.
“One thing that she has over any other goalkeeper that I have ever coached is that she has an understanding of the game, a command of the language and some of the greatest use of tone for a goalkeeper that I have ever seen,” said head coach Andy Smith. “The best goalkeepers don’t have to make saves because they have people so organized in front of them that the ball doesn’t get to them.”
With the win, the Red secured its spot in the inaugural Ivy League Tournament and it was Cornell’s first win against Penn in the last eight matchups.
Riding high on momentum, the Red returned to the field on Sunday to face Syracuse (9-5, 1-3 ACC). Cornell last faced the Orange in its season opener, where it lost 4-2.
Looking for revenge, and vying for a spot in the NCAA Tournament, the Red began strong offensively, but had to switch it up in the second, after the Orange went on an offensive spree. Despite this, it was Cornell that struck first halfway through the third, after sophomore midfielder Rease Coleman scored off a pass from Ramsey.
With just under 10 minutes left in regulation, Syracuse found the back of the net, forcing the game into overtime. It looked like the Orange would win it in overtime after they were awarded two penalty corners. Unable to convert on both, the Orange and Red remained scoreless in the first overtime. Cornell began with possession in the second overtime and held onto it until sophomore forward Grace Leahy scored off a rebounded penalty corner by Ramsey.
“We were a very different team compared to when we saw them in September,” Smith said. “[I’m] very very proud of them. We’ve had a lot of battles with Syracuse over the years and this is a very very good team, certainly one of the best teams in the country… for us to come away with a win like that against a team like that, big credit to our group.”
Now riding a five-game winning streak, the Red will look to extend it this weekend when it faces Brown on Friday at 3 p.m. in Rhode Island and Boston University at home on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Marsha Dodson Field. The game on Sunday will be Senior Day where the team will honor all its graduating seniors. Both games can be streamed on ESPN+.
Ahead of senior day, Smith reflected on the impact the senior class has had on her. Despite being very different people, with different abilities, they all had unique influences on the team, with four seniors having been extra impactful.
“Caroline [Ramsey] walked in here on the same day as me and walked into a program that was ranked in the seventies and is now ranked in the mid-teens,” Smith said. “A lot of that [success] has to do with her… she’s been brilliant and she’s been a pleasure to coach… she’s a once in a generation player.”
“Lexie Hausheer has come in and worked [hard] every day as a goalkeeper, [she] probably hasn’t had the playing time she deserved, but it’s not her fault,” Smith said.
“We’ve got Charlotte Calvert, Sofia Escalona, who are the glue of this team. They are so unheralded because maybe they don’t have the stat lines, but they work harder than anybody else on this team. They’re out there at practice making us better every single day…they’ll be sorely missed,” Smith added.
Elizabeth Friedberg, Olivia Friedberg, Antonia Packard, Claire Vaughn and Claire Wolfe round out the rest of the senior class.
“The others in the group as well… they’re great players and even better people,” Smith said. “We’re lucky that a lot of them are coming back next year for their fifth-year.”