Sports

W. lax falls to No. 20 Cornell squad in Ithaca

By
Sports Staff Writer
Monday, April 13, 2009
Correction appended.

Tied 6-6 with No. 20 Cornell 3:36 into the second half on Saturday, the women’s lacrosse team gave up four unanswered goals in 12 minutes, putting the game out of the Bears’ reach.

Brown (6-5, 2-2 Ivy League) brought the score back to 11-9 with 7:23 remaining, but couldn’t close the gap as Cornell (7-4, 2-3) held on for a 12-9 victory on its home turf.
Captain Lauren Vitkus ’09 led the Bears, scoring a third of the team’s goals. Alexa Caldwell ’11 and Kelly Robinson ’09 gave their captain support by netting two goals each.

The Big Red attack was led by sophomore Libby Johnson and freshman Jessi Steinberg, who both scored hat tricks. Johnson’s three-goal performance paled in comparison to her five-goal, three-assist game in the teams’ last meeting on April 11, 2008.

“She’s a really big, tall, strong girl,” Caldwell said of Johnson. “Our average height on the team is about 5-5, so with a tall girl like that, there isn’t a lot we could do.”

Cornell hadn’t faced Brown since its 17-9 victory over the Bears last year.
“We obviously wanted revenge from last year,” Caldwell said.

The Big Red came into this season’s contest off of a 5-3 win over No. 18 New Hampshire five days before, but the Bears also came into the game on a hot streak, having beaten Columbia and Bryant last week.

Brown opened up the scoring when Caldwell scored her 10th of the season 3:47 after the opening draw.

The Bears held onto the lead until Katie Kirk scored her first of two on the afternoon for Cornell 7:07 into the game, starting a three-goal run over the next 5:30 for the Big Red.
The teams alternated goals for the remainder of the half with Brown getting the last one, making the score 6-5 Cornell at break. Vitkus scored all of her hat trick during that time and Callie Lawrence ’09 added another for the Bears.

Goalie Gianna Spinelli ’12 got the first start of her career and saved five of the 11 shots on goal she faced in the first half. But Head Coach Keely McDonald ’00 replaced her at halftime with Maddie Wasser ’10, who had only one save on seven chances.

Kelly Robinson ’09 scored the equalizer for the Bears just 23 seconds into the second half. But Steinberg rattled off back-to-back goals within 1:30, extending Cornell’s lead to 8-6.
Steinberg’s teammates continued the attack, scoring two more consecutive goals by 15:22, putting Cornell ahead by four goals.

A few close shots would have stopped the run, but Caldwell said the ball just wasn’t bouncing Bruno’s way.

“We hit the post four times in the second half,” Caldwell said. That would have “won the game for us because we executed everything. We just got unlucky on a couple of plays.”
Caldwell cut into the lead with a goal at 16:33, but Johnson answered with her third of the afternoon just over four minutes later.

Two straight Brown goals brought the Bears to 11-9 with 7:30 remaining, but they wouldn’t get any closer than that.

Cornell scored the game’s last goal with just over six minutes left, making the final score 12-9 Cornell.

The Bears will take the field next when they face the Quinnipiac Bobcats (9-2) in Hamden, Conn. on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.

The Bobcats are full of firepower, as they have averaged 18.2 goals per game in their last five outings. They extended their win streak to five games by escaping a 12-11 thriller in double overtime against Robert Morris on Saturday.

“It was unfortunate that we didn’t beat Cornell,” Caldwell said. “But we definitely played very, very well against a top-20 team, and I think that we’re going to come out very strong at Quinnipiac.”

An article in Monday’s Herald (“W. lax falls to No. 20 Cornell squad in Ithaca,” April 13) incorrectly stated that goalie Maddie Wasser ’10 was put in at halftime and made only one save on seven chances. In fact, Wasser was put in the game 15 minutes into the first half, where she saved three of five shots. In the second half, she made one save on seven shots. The Herald regrets the error.