Following a draw and win in last week’s play, women’s soccer (4-4-6, 0-4-2 Ivy) took the pitch on Saturday, Oct. 21 for its last match of the season at Berman Field. Cornell faced No. 15 Brown (10-1-2, 6-0-0 Ivy), which came in after winning four straight games against Ivy League opponents, looking to make it five against the Red.
The Bears’ offensive attack started quick, with passes and Cornell fouls setting up a score within the first six minutes of the game. A shot by forward Ava Seelenfreund was blocked by senior goalkeeper Erica Fox, but quickly put back in by forward Brittany Raphino.
Raphino, the two-time reigning Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year, played a large role in the contest, setting up early opportunities after her goal — including a shot in the ninth minute which was blocked by Fox.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Red struggled to build momentum, taking only two shots in the first half, neither of which were on goal. Brown totaled seven shots in the first half with Fox saving four of the five on goal.
Head coach Rob Ferguson reflected on the team’s first 45 minutes, emphasizing missed opportunities.
“I thought in the first half, we didn’t play well enough,” Ferguson said. “We created a couple of good moments. Both [senior forward Mia Gonzalez] and [senior forward Ava Laden], I thought, looked lively in those wide areas, but we didn’t get them enough of the ball.”
In the second half the Red became more aggressive, with Laden taking Cornell’s first shot on goal of the match in the 52nd minute, but the attempt was saved by goalkeeper Clare Gagne.
Only minutes later, a Brown drive down the field set up a shot and goal by midfielder Audrey Lam off a pass from Raphino. The right-footed shot from Lam, lofting past the reach of Fox and into the goal, put the Bears up, 2-0.
Laden continued seeking opportunities and finally capitalized in the 66th minute to cut the lead in half. A shot by senior midfielder Reagan Pauwels crossed towards the middle and found the left side of the net off the foot of Laden.
Cornell took three more shots in the match, with one coming moments before the buzzer sounded, but they all came up short, giving Brown the 2-1 victory.
“The goal that put us two-nil down could’ve knocked the stuffing right out of us. The way we just kept going; we thought we played considerably better than they did in the second half. I thought we created more, and they were worried about what we were doing. I thought we’d tie the game when we scored to make it 2-1,” Ferguson said. “I am very proud of what we put into the game against one of the best teams in the country. Losing it is harsh.”
The Red will look to rebound in its final match of the season against Penn (5-7-3, 0-4-2 Ivy) at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28 in Philadelphia. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.