April 14, 2012

Dambach Stands Tall in Cornell Upset of Loyola

from press release

ITHACA, N.Y. – A six-goal run by No. 15/17 Cornell combined with six second-half saves by goaltender Kyla Dambach turned a tight contest in a seven-goal victory as the Big Red upset No. 11/12 Loyola-Maryland 17-10 at Schoellkopf Field on Saturday afternoon.

"That second half was very dominating, and against a great team," Cornell coach Jenny Graap said. "I'm very proud of that second-half effort. Our goalkeeper, Kyla Dambach, came up huge for us in that second half."

The Big Red (8-3) got five goals from Caroline Salisbury and four from Jessi Steinberg as it earned its third win against a ranked foe this season. The win kept Cornell undefeated this season after a loss and evened the lifetime series against the Greyhounds (8-4) at 3-3.

Cornell had a slim 8-7 lead over the Greyhounds at halftime, and the team used goals by Shannon McHugh, Steinberg and Katie Kirk to extend the lead to 11-9 with 12:05 remaining.

That's when the fireworks started.

Salisbury and Olivia Knotts each scored twice, Kirk scored another and Chelsea Rowe joined in the fun as the Big Red's lead surged to 17-9 in a mere eight minutes at the end of the game. During that run, Dambach made multiple saves to keep the Greyhounds from catching up.

"For the last couple weeks in practice, we've been work on one-on-none situations," Dambach said. "We figured if I could make a couple of those saves in a game, then it'll make a huge difference. It looked like it did today."

The teams got out to a lightning fast start, scoring a combined seven goals in the first 10 minutes.

Jessi Steinberg put the Big Red on top 1-0 early, but the Greyhounds came back with the next three goals to take a 3-1 lead. Olivia Knotts and Amanda D'Amico, though, got things evened up for Cornell at 3-3. Loyola stormed back with a goal at the 20:00 mark of the first half to regain the lead, but Cornell followed with a three-goal run of its own.

Over the next seven minutes, Caroline Salisbury struck twice and Steinberg scored her second goal as the Big Red took a 6-4 lead. The teams traded goals after that, with Steinberg and Salisbury completing their hat tricks for Cornell. Heading into halftime, the Big Red held a slim 8-7 advantage.

Cornell was outmatched by a 10-6 margin on the draw control in the first half, but the team decided to put Salisbury on draws in the second half. The junior made the move look wise as she picked up four draw controls herself.
"She had a big day on the draw for us," Graap said. "She's one of the physically strongest women on our team, and I think she did an excellent job on the draw."

With the advantage on the draw control restored, the Big Red fought its way from a one-goal lead to a seven-goal lead, keeping the Greyhounds off the board thanks to terrific defense and goaltending.

"We played an awesome game," Dambach said. "Our whole plan was to shut down their fast break, and that's what we did all day."

The Big Red has little time to breathe, as No. 2 Syracuse heads to Ithaca for a Tuesday-night matchup at 7 p.m.

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