Senior forward Maneesha Chitanvis remains a crucial part of the Red’s attack during each game this season, as well as one of the key parts of the on-field and off-field leadership for Cornell. For the past two seasons she has earned All-Ivy honorable mentions, and she often garners a lot of attention from the opposing defense due to her constant intensity.
“I have definitely gotten close to [Chitanvis] with her and I being captains together. I have had to work with her a lot — she is a great leader,” said senior goalie and co-captain Tori Christ. “She is very intense, but it is with a purpose. She really knows what to say in a team huddle. She has this tone about her to make everyone listen. I think she is a really good leader.”
Over the last two seasons, Chitanvis has scored five goals and racked up two assists, leading the team with 12 points in her total time on East Hill.
“She leads by example on and off the field. She is a really good motivator on the field and plays with a lot of emotion,” said sophomore defender Sydney Cetrullo. “You can always count on her to pick you up and bring you to her level of play.”
Last season, Chitanvis was one of three players that started all 16 games for the Red — the only non-senior to do so. The season began for her on Sept. 2 against Fordham, where she scored just 16 seconds into the game. She continued her scoring streak and grabbed another goal at the 30th minute off a shot rebound and helped Brook Chang ’12 with an assist to her goal in the second half. Her other three goals to round out the five came during a four-game stretch where she had two goals in Ivy League play — scoring against Columbia on Sept. 23 and Harvard on Oct. 8.
Along with the two other captains — senior defender Jayann Gabrio and Christ — Chitanvis plans to lead the Red into a winning season for the first time in ten years. The main goal for the team is to be above .500 for the season and improve its place in the Ivy standings.
“I think that this is the first year [of leadership] for all of them,” said junior midfielder Rachel Nichols about the tri-captains. “Maneesha especially has been a really good leader on and off the field.”
This season, Chitanvis has had one assist in the 2-5 loss to Albany on Sept. 9 to help senior midfielder/forward Xandra Hompe score. Thirty-four seconds after the third goal from the Great Danes, Chitanvis passed to Hompe from the right of the field for the goal to try and take the win.
“Not only vocally, but [she is a] really good role model with how she plays,” Nichols said.
Chitanvis has been exhibiting her athletic prowess since the preseason, according to first-year head coach Patrick Farmer.
“[Chitanvis has] really been striking the ball well lately, and that captain leadership is big for her,” he said.