May 1, 2011

Unranked Cornell Stifles No. 2 Florida

from press release

Jessi Steinberg (above) had three goals and the Big Red defense confounded Florida, helping Cornell upend the No. 2 Gators, 9-6, on Sunday afternoon.

© Greg Wall

ITHACA, N.Y. – In its final game of the season, the Cornell women's lacrosse team earned a victory over the highest ranked opponent in school history, defeating No. 2 Florida, 9-6, on Sunday at Schoellkopf Field in Ithaca, N.Y.

The Big Red (6-8) closed the season with three straight wins and handed head coach Jenny Graap her 150th career victory, while snapping the Gators' 14-game winning streak to send them to 14-2 on the season.

Kyla Dambach was outstanding in goal, making nine saves in front of a defense that forced Florida into 15 turnovers and allowed the Gators just 12-of-17 successful clears.

The impressive defensive effort held Florida to less than half its season average for goals per game (14.4).

Offensively, the Big Red was led by Caroline Salisbury, who converted 3-of-3 free position shots, including a laser that was scored with just one second  remaining in the first half of play to send Cornell into the intermission with the commanding 6-1 lead.

Junior Jessi Steinberg also tallied three goals, with the first two coming in the opening moments of the contest to help the Big Red take a 3-0 lead at the 23:14 mark.

The third goal in the run came off the stick of Libby Johnson, giving the senior 130 career points and moving her into a tie for 10th place in Cornell history for points in a career.

Rounding out the scoring for the Big Red was Shannon McHugh, whose second goal of the day sealed the 9-6 victory as she cut through the Florida defense and found the back of the net with less than five minutes to play in the game.

The Gators were led by Janine Hillier's three goals, while Kitty Cullen, Ashley Burns and Btittany Dashiell each scored once.

In between the pipes, Florida goalkeeper Mikey Meagher made 10 saves in the loss.

Cornell held the edge in shots (24-20) and took care of the ball, registering just 11 turnovers on the day.

Florida held the slim margin in ground balls (13-12) and won more than double the draw controls (11-5), but the Gators were held scoreless on four free position shots thanks to the strong play of Dambach.

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