This weekend the women’s soccer team will take to the field for the first time during the 2012 season. The schedule will consist of a pair of matchups on the road for the Red against Georgetown and George Washington. First-year head coach Patrick Farmer is finally going to hit the pitch with his team; however, he is introducing new techniques to the team’s way of approaching playing.
“We’ve asked them to play a little different than they were in the past, and they have been very adaptable so far — that really makes the transition easier,” Farmer said. “More of the changes are on the approach and philosophy as opposed to personnel. It’s about being more aggressive and not being afraid to push players forward.”
This team is looking for one thing — a winning season, which the Red has not seen for the past 10 years.
The defense is facing an abundance of changes this season due to the graduation and departure of three starters. However, senior tri-captain Jayann Gabrio returns to the defense ready to lead, after facing a season debilitating injury in 2011. Sophomores Sydney Cetrullo, Kelly Abrams and Courtney Macdonald are also ready to fill the back line, with the additions of freshmen Charlotte Tate and Morgan Zaidel hoping to make a presence on the field.
“They’re lively and fast,” Farmer said. “It’s fun to have kids that aren’t afraid to make runs. They move well.”
The Red has a lot of depth in the midfield as well as the other positions. Senior Hannah Labadie, junior Rachel Nichols and sophomore Claire MacManus are all returners for the midfield.
“There are just a bunch of possibilities in the midfield,” Farmer said.
The forwards for the Red are stacked with options as well. Senior tri-captain Maneesha Chitanvis — a two-time scoring leader for the Red — is back for her final season after grabbing five goals and two assists last season. Seniors Xandra Hompe and Moonie Mancho are also forces to be reckoned with, along with the other younger members of the team, as they are all ready to make this season a winning one.
Farmer added about the forwards, “We have some very good options up front.”
The position of goalie is an interesting one for the 2012-13 team, as they place their faith in the hands of junior Tori Christ. Christ has also been named a tri-captain and plans to lead the team. The Red also welcomed freshmen Caroline Quentin and Amanda Symons to the team, hoping to add some depth to Cornell’s squad.
“[Christ is] a good, confident keeper,” Farmer said. “Her communication is great, and she knows how to maneuver her defense. Tori's a great shot-stopper and is fantastic at one-on-ones.”
The Red will spend the beginning of its season on the road with seven out of eight games played away from the hill. Ivy League play will begin with a visit to Columbia on Sept. 23.