Sports

Late goal from Lane ’19 clinches women’s soccer win over Cornell

Bears’ defense follows previous weeks’ strong showings, holds Big Red without shot on goal

By
Senior Staff Writer
Monday, October 24, 2016

Amanda Lane ’19 chases the ball during Bruno’s game against Cornell Saturday. The team won 1-0 to stay in third place in the Ancient Eight and will play Penn Saturday.

Despite cloudy skies and a light drizzle, the women’s soccer team took to Stevenson-Pincince Field Saturday against Cornell focused and determined. Sitting at third place in the Ivy League standings, the Bears (8-2-4, 3-1-1 Ivy) hoped to build on their positive momentum from recent performances versus Princeton and Harvard and inch closer to the top spot in the conference table.

“We knew we needed to get a good result in order to remain in competition for the Ivy League title,” said co-captain Carly Gould ’17. “Cornell was a team that we could beat, so going into today we were focused on just playing our game and executing.”

These aspirations were realized in the form of a last-minute 1-0 win versus the Big Red (4-8-2, 1-3-1 Ivy).

Heading into the game, Bruno held a 6-0-1 record over Cornell in the teams’ previous seven meetings. Last year specifically, Brown’s 3-2 double-overtime win was highlighted by an exceptional performance by then-rookie Celia Story ’19, who netted the Bears’ game-tying and game-winning goals. Given these results, the team was confident that it could tally another victory heading into Saturday’s afternoon contest.

“I think we had a positive vibe going into today’s game,” said Head Coach Kia McNeill. “The fact that it was a home game and (Family) Weekend certainly added to the energy.”

Bruno took control early, dominating possession in the Big Red’s defensive end. Starting with a rocket from Gould, which forced a difficult save by Cornell’s Meghan Kennedy at 8:53, the Bears fired five shots in five minutes.

“We knew with the slick conditions from the rain that it would be a difficult day for the defenders and the keeper,” Gould said. “If you put the ball on frame when it’s raining, it’s difficult to save and to hold onto for the keeper, … so any time we could get in a cross or a shot, we were looking to.”

Story, Abby Kaplan ’20 and Jennifer Caruso ’19 all contributed to this high-intensity offensive play. Despite not producing a goal, the barrage kept the Cornell defense on edge and uneasy, which set the tone for the rest of the match.

“We wanted to try and get on the scoreboard early and be aggressive,” McNeill said. “Cornell gets numbers behind the ball and makes it difficult to play, so we knew if we could try and capitalize on some chances early it would help us.”

On the defensive end, Bruno’s starting back line displayed a near-perfect half. With the lock-down defense that has characterized much of the team’s play this season, Brown allowed zero shots on goal in the first 45 minutes.

“Our defense has been strong all season and continues to get stronger,” Gould said. “We have won a lot of games with our defense. … We knew we would just need to make sure that we could make it happen on offense.”

With the scoreboard still reading 0-0 at the beginning of the second half, both teams retook the field looking to execute a lucrative offensive attack.

After several shots throughout the stanza, Brown finally scored off a pivotal corner kick in the 84th minute on what would be its last goal-scoring chance of the game. After Abby Carchio ’20 drove the ball into the box from the right flag, midfielder Amanda Lane ’19 met the ball and deftly finished off the corner kick for the one-goal lead. Despite Cornell’s attempts to rebound, Brown took the contest 1-0.

“The goal tonight was one of those things that you could feel coming,” McNeill said. “We really put on the pressure the last 10 minutes of the game, sending numbers forward into the attack.”

Brown only has two games left this season and still sits in third in the Ancient Eight. The first of these meetings will come Saturday evening, as the team travels to Philadelphia to face Penn. For the season finale, Bruno will host Yale Nov. 9. Beating the Quakers and the Bulldogs will be imperative if the team wishes to claim the conference crown and move on to the NCAA playoffs.

“We are still in the fight here in Ivy League play,” McNeill said. “We want to empty the tank and just leave everything out there on the field. This team has had an incredible season so far, and it is important that we finish strong.”