The Cornell field hockey team has extended its winning streak to four straight games — after facing both Colgate and Georgetown on the road. The Red (5-6, 2-1 Ivy League) defeated the Raiders, 3-2, on Wednesday and then travelled to College Park, Md. to defeat the Hoyas, 3-1.
The game against Colgate was played on the road for Cornell, but just in nearby Hamilton, NY. The Red converted its first few penalty corner chances — with the first two being scored by freshman Marisa Siergiej with assists from junior Hannah Balleza and freshman Taylor Standiford respectively. Balleza then proceeded to score the third goal, putting the ball into the net off of a rebound near the goal. However, the Raiders were determined to put up a fight, and proceeded to score two goals within the last 12 minutes of play. Jade Dennett and Lauren Dittman were the scorers for the Raiders. Colgate was able to outshoot the Red, 18-9, but Cornell was the victor due to the tremendous work of goal keeper Carolyn Horner, who recorded seven saves in the second half alone.
The Red then travelled to Washington D.C. for a dinner hosted by the Field Hockey Alumni for family and friends of the team. The following day, the team travelled to the University of Maryland to face the Georgetown Hoyas. Three different Cornell players were able to notch a goal — with Balleza, Siergiej, and junior Brittany Thompson each scoring. Additionally, Siergiej and Standiford each recorded an assist for Cornell. Thompson was able to draw first blood — scoring 28 seconds into the game to give the Red an early lead. Georgetown was able to equalize, scoring its only goal of the contest when senior Annie Wilson scored off of a rebound. The Red scored its next two goals unanswered to finish off the game. Again the Red was outshot, 11-8, but managed to come up with the win, relying on the presence of Horner and smart decision making on the field.
As a result of an impressive performances during the last two games, Balleza and Siergiej received honors as the Ivy League Player of the Week and the latter Ivy League Rookie of the Week. This is the first time that two Cornell athletes swept the awards since 1995. The Red will look to these players to continue their impressive play throughout the last six games of the season.
The Red will head back on the road and travel to Harvard next Saturday to face the Crimson (3-8, 1-2). This will be the fourth Ivy League contest of the year for the Red and a win would give the team a 3-1 record. The Crimson are led offensively by sophomore Noel Painter who spearheads the offense with four goals so far on the season. Another Crimson sophomore Caitlin Rea is the playmaker for Harvard — she leads the team with four assists this season. The team is also anchored by senior goalkeeper Cynthia Tassopoulos who has played in nine of the eleven total games for Harvard so far.
The team is coached by Tjerk van Herwaarden, who is in his first season of holding the reins for Harvard but comes to the Crimson with past experience. Herwaarden helped the University of Maryland Terrapins win five national titles in the seven years he spent there.
The Red will then come back to Ithaca for a matchup against the Davidson Wildcats. The visitors are led on offense by senior Finley Amato, who leads the team with 10 goals. The creative player to watch is freshman midfielder Melissa Funsten who has recorded six assists on the season. In goal for the Wildcats is senior Sarah Fisher, who has played in all 12 games for the Wildcats this season.
If the Red can pull off two more victories in these next two games, it will elevate the team to a winning record for the first time this season. At 7-6 and 3-1 in the Ivy League, the Red will be in a prime position to finish off the season with a strong record. Cornell has played with unmatched tenacity in its last four games and will continue this mentality in practice and hopefully in games.