March 2, 2011

Johnson Nets Seven as Cornell Nips Colgate

from press release

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Cornell senior captain Libby Johnson scored seven goals as the Big Red women's lacrosse team captured its 12th straight win over Central New York rival Colgate with a 15-14 triumph on Wednesday afternoon at Schoellkopf Field. The Big Red evened its record at 1-1 on the year, while the Raiders slipped to 2-2.

Johnson scored four times in the second half, including the go-ahead scored with 4:04 remaining on the clock to put the home team ahead 14-13. While she did much of the heavy lifting on offense, junior Jessi Steinberg added four goals and sophomore Caroline Salisbury had two goals and two assists. Steinberg added a team-high five draw controls, while Cacki Helmer notched four draws and three ground balls in the win. Both Meg Helmer and Kate Ivory caused two turnovers apiece in front of Kyla Dambach, who had eight saves to pick up her first win of the season.

The numbers were fairly even throughout, with Cornell holding slight edges in shots (36-31), draw controls (18-13) and ground balls (12-11). The Big Red led by as many as five goals (10-5) early in the second half before the Raiders came all the way back to tie the game at 13-13 with just 5:37 remaining, setting up Johnson's go-ahead score a little more than a minute later.

The Raiders got five goals, three draws and two caused turnovers from Colleen Bubnack, while Kate Bergstrom had three goals and three assists and Courtney Miller recorded two goals and two assists. Both Katie Sullivan (two goals, assist) and Amanda O'Sullivan (goal, assist) had multi-point efforts for the visitors, while Christina Roa had 11 saves, including several big stops in the second half during Colgate's run.

The Raiders were victimized by six yellow cards in the second half, all coming in the final 26 minutes.

Johnson's seven goals were a career high and were the most by any Cornellian since former All-American Sarah Averson scored seven goals in the 2003 ECAC Championship game against Massachusetts. Her three free position scores (on four attempts) tied a school record. Meanwhile, Steinberg's five draw control wins ranks eighth on the school's single-game list, three off her own school record of eight set last year against Hofstra.

With the game tied 3-3, the Big Red appeared to take control of the game by dominating the draw in pushing the lead to 10-5 during a 5-2 run over nearly 15 minutes spaning the two halves. The Raiders chipped away at the lead, equalizing at 13-13 when Miller found Sullivan on the crease for a quick-stick goal with 5:37 left. Cornell won the ensuing draw and found the back of the net 1:33 later when Johnson got a step on her defender and beat Roa for the go-ahead goal. Shannon McHugh scored an insurance goal with 2:46 remaining, though the visitors closed back to within a goal less than a minute later. The Big Red earned the ensuing draw after a foul on Colgateand was able to run out the clock for its first victory of 2011.

Cornell opens its 2011 Ivy League schedule on Saturday, March 5 at 1 p.m. when it plays host to Harvard at Schoellkopf Field.

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