February 25, 2012

Knotts' Goal Wins it Late for Cornell

from press release

ITHACA, N.Y. – In a back-and-forth affair that was tied at every step of the way, Olivia Knotts' goal with 52 seconds remaining gave the Big Red women's lacrosse team a season-opening victory at Rutgers on Saturday afternoon.

During the contest, neither team had a lead of more than one goal at any time, but Knotts snuck in for the game-winner after receiving a nice pass from Kelly Lang.

Cornell (1-0) won its first game against the Scarlet Knights (0-2) since 2009, and the Big Red is now 13-3 all-time against Rutgers. The victory was the Big Red's first to start a year since 2009 and the first season-opening victory on the road since 2008. Cornell is now 22-19 all-time in its first contest of the year.

Down 1-0 early on a goal from Rutgers' Lauren Sbrilli, tallies by senior captain Jessi Steinberg and Knotts gave the Big Red a 2-1 lead early.

The teams continued to go back-and-forth for the entire first half, eventually going into the break tied at 5-5. Steinberg had another goal for Cornell in that span, and Amanda D'Amico and Shannon McHugh added their first goals of the season as well.

As the second half began, Knotts got her second goal on a nice pass from Caroline Salisbury, but the Scarlet Knights equalized once again to make it 6-6 with 21 minutes to go. Rutgers got the next score to go ahead 7-6, but the ties kept coming thanks to an equalizer from McHugh, her second of the game with 15:51 left in the contest.

That set up the game's longest scoring drought, nearly 15 minutes of hard-fought defense that eventually resulted in Knotts' goal and her first career hat trick. During the game, Carolina Salisbury also had four assists.

Senior goalie Kyla Dambach made six saves in the first half and three more in the second to stymie the Rutgers offense late. She picked up the 11th win of her career.

Cornell stays on the road next weekend when it travels to Harvard to open its Ivy League schedule. The game is set for noon on Saturday.

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