Women’s lax beats No. 16 Cornell
By Claire Monagan, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Monday, April 9, 2012
The Big Green women’s lacrosse team traveled to Ithaca, N.Y. to take on No. 16 Cornell University (7-3, 3-2 Ivy) on Saturday and demonstrated its ability to play well on the road with a hard-fought 12-10 win. No. 10 Dartmouth remains undefeated in Ivy League play, with a conference record of 4-0 and an overall record of 8-1.
Although Cornell had averaged nearly 15 goals per game on the season going into the contest, the Big Green proved that it could surmount Cornell’s skilled offensive attack and elevated speed of play and the Dartmouth women rose to the challenge of a fast, offensive game.
While the offense played a big role in the win for Dartmouth, the defense was also crucial to the Big Green’s success. Kelsey Johnson ’13, Georgia Bird ’12 and Bailey Johnson ’14 led the defense, holding Cornell — the top-ranked offensive unit in the Ivy League — to five goals below its scoring average.
Kirsten Goldberg ’12 put Dartmouth on the scoreboard first, netting a goal just over one minute into the game. Cornell responded shortly thereafter with a goal from Olivia Knotts. The teams traded goals until the Big Red managed three in a row, taking a 4-2 lead at the 11:54 mark.
Dartmouth caught up to the Big Red, and the two teams were neck-and-neck at 5-5 when the halftime whistle sounded.
“Coming into the Cornell game, I think we all knew that it was going to be a battle,” captain Sarah Plumb ’12 said. “Even though we did not come out as strong as we would have liked in the first half, the way that we came together in the second half was really encouraging.”
After a lethargic first half, the Big Green needed a burst of energy and aggression going into the second half, and that’s exactly what they were able to produce.
Of the first eight goals scored in the second half, Dartmouth scored seven, taking a significant lead over the opposition. The team stopped making the mental errors that allowed Cornell to stick with them in the first half, and the Big Green forced the Big Red to earn every goal it scored.
Hana Bowers ’13 contributed to the second-half scoring spree, extending her streak of netting at least one goal every game this season. The scored marked her 15th of the year. Sophomore Lindsey Allard ’14 added two goals in the winning effort.
“It shows a lot of progress that we rallied around each other and came out really hard in the second half,” Kelsey Johnson ’13 said.
Trailing 12-6 with 13 minutes left in the game, the Big Red mounted a desperate comeback attempt to get back into the game. Cornell tallied the last four goals of the game, but the six-goal margin proved too much to overcome.
Goalkeeper Kristen Giovanniello ’14 continued her dominance in goal, stopping 10 Big Red shots on net.
“I could not have been happier after our game [on Saturday],” Goldberg said. “It was the first time that we came out in the second half as a united force. We were entirely connected all the way from the lowest attacker to the lowest defender.”
Goldberg led the scoring with five goals and six points in the game. She is now within one point of the 100-point club, racking up 82 goals and 17 assists.
Hilary Smith ’12 matched her career high of seven draw controls, greatly influencing the flow of the game. Combined with Plumb, the two recorded 13 draw controls overall.
Plumb has now accumulated 119 draw controls in her career, and she is within six of the second-place all-time high at Dartmouth.
The Big Green will stay in New York as it moves on to play Syracuse University today at 3 p.m.