No. 18 Cornell Picks up Crucial Ivy League Win over Brown

ITHACA, N.Y. With its Ivy League postseason fate on the line, Big Red stood up to the challenge and snapped a four-game losing streak in the process. Cornell took over fourth place in the league with a 9-7 win over Brown at Schoellkopf Field on Friday afternoon and now holds the crucial head-to-head victory over the Bears.

The No. 18 Big Red (7-4, 3-3 Ivy League) got a great performance on offense in the form of three goals from Caroline Salisbury, and goalie Carly Gniewek made six saves to hand the Bears (9-3, 2-3) just their third loss of the season.

Also contributing important points on offense for Cornell was Lindsay Toppe with two goals, Sarah Hefner with a goal and two assists and Kelly Lang with two goals.

The contest was very much in doubt throughout, as Cornell never held a lead larger than three goals. With a narrow 8-7 lead, Lang got Cornell's ninth goal to give the home team a two-goal cushion. Emily Tripodi fed Lang, and Lang drove to the net and beat Kellie Roddy with 4:59 left on the clock.

Cornell drained the time from there, but the visitors managed one more quality chance that was prevented by Gniewek's best save of the afternoon. Bears midfielder Grace Healy got in close and took a shot low and right, but Gniewek moved just in time to knock the ball away from danger.

The Big Red recovered possession after that, and the team spent the final 105 seconds playing keepaway to seal the win.

Cornell's victory was its 14th consecutive against Brown dating back to 2000.

The teams finished the contest with 17 shots apiece as well as 13 shots on goal each. They also tied with 15 ground balls. The difference was Cornell scored on nine of its 13 shots on goal, while Gniewek made two more saves than Roddy to earn her first win of the season.

Neither team made strong defensive stands in the first half, and before 15 minutes had gone off the clock the teams had combined for 10 goals. Cornell held a 6-4 advantage at that point thanks to goals from Salisbury (two), Toppe (two), Hefner and Lang.

The scoring slowed considerably after that as Gniewek began to make saves. She had four saves in the last 15 minutes of the half, and the only goal she let in wound up being negated when the Brown midfielder was found to have used an illegal stick to score.

Instead of the lead being cut to 6-5 with that negated goal, the Big Red extended its lead to three on the ensuing possession. Salisbury got her third of the afternoon with just 57 seconds left in the half, and Cornell went into the break up 7-4.

The Bears threatened in the second half, scoring the first two goals including one while down a player. The Big Red picked up consecutive yellow cards in the first seven minutes of the half, but the team managed to fight off the two-player disadvantage and keep the Bears from scoring during that time.

With a narrow 7-6 lead, Salisbury made a stellar defensive effort to take the ball away from the Bears that resulted directly in the Big Red's next goal. After Salisbury checked the ball out of three consecutive Brown sticks, she recovered the ground ball and passed to Lauren Halpern. Halpern drove to the net and scored, giving the Big Red its first goal of the half and an 8-6 lead with 15 minutes remaining.

Brown got within one goal with 10:52 left in the half, but the Big Red went back up by two with 4:59 remaining. After drawing a yellow card on the Bears, Cornell had a man-up situation and capitalized when Tripodi found a streaking Lang through the middle of the fan. Lang finished, and Cornell went ahead 9-7 to seal the win.

Kate Ivory led the way for the Big Red with four ground balls, reaching 100 in her career. Tripodi picked up her 25th career point, and Salisbury's third goal extended the Big Red's streak of consecutive games with a hat trick to 32.

The Big Red plays its final road game of the regular season next week, traveling to nearby Syracuse for a 4:00 p.m. game in the Carrier Dome. The game between the Big Red and the No. 5 Orange will be televised locally on Time Warner Cable.


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