March 20, 2012

Red-Hot Big Red Sets School Scoring Record

from press release

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Big Red women's lacrosse team tied an 18-year-old program record for goals in a game when it defeated the Jacksonville Dolphins on their home turf Tuesday by a 22-13 margin.
Jessi Steinberg and Olivia Knotts each had hat tricks in the first half, and the Big Red offense got out to an early 6-0 lead in the game's first eight minutes before the Dolphins were able to score. Knotts finished the contest with four goals and two assists while Steinberg had three goals and a career-high five assists. Katie Kirk contributed two goals and two assists.
The No. 18 Big Red (6-1) got goals on seven of its first eight offensive possessions against Jacksonville (6-2) and got those possessions early thanks to excelling on the draw control. At game's end, Cornell held a 22-15 advantage in draw controls and had equaled the 1994 team's 22-goal performance against Rutgers.
The Big Red has now equaled its win total from all of last year just seven games into the season. Cornell moves its out-of-conference record to 4-1 and is now 1-0 against the Dolphins lifetime. Cornell ended Jacksonville's 12-game home winning streak and is now 4-0 in road games this year.
Steinberg scored the first two goals of the game for the Big Red, and Cornell quickly went ahead 4-0 when Shannon McHugh converted on a pass from Steinberg just minutes later. Caroline Salisbury made it 5-0 with a free position shot and Steinberg got her hat trick shortly thereafter off a nice pass from behind the net by Knotts. Cornell's 6-0 start was its second-longest streak without allowing a goal all year.
Jacksonville finally got on the board and actually outscored the Big Red 7-6 for the rest of the half. After two Jacksonville goals made it 6-2, Knotts got her first two scores of the afternoon and Lauren Halpern got in on the action to make it 9-2. Knotts completed her hat trick later in the half, and Amanda D'Amico added a man-up goal for the Big Red's 11th of the day.
As Jacksonville closed the half on a three-goal run, defenseman Cacki Helmer did something she had only done once before in her four-year career by scoring a goal. Winning the draw control with 30 seconds left in the half, the Big Red got the ball back to Helmer. The senior captain decided to sprint the ball over the restraining line and made a bee-line for the goal, where she converted on her first shot of the season with a mere three seconds showing on the first-half clock to make it 12-7.
When the second half began, Jacksonville scored a quick goal to bring the game within four, but the Big Red rattled off three straight after that. Kirk scored twice and Salisbury converted her second free position attempt.
Freshman Lindsay Toppe put Cornell ahead 16-9 on a pass from Knotts, and Cornell did not let up when Chelsea Rowe earned her first goal of the game as she cut to the net on a pass from Toppe. Cornell was ahead 17-9 for its biggest lead of the afternoon. Knotts' fourth goal came soon after that on an assist by Steinberg, and that forced Jacksonville to call a timeout to stem the bleeding.
The timeout stopped the clock briefly but it didn't hold off the Big Red offense as Toppe added her second goal a few minutes later after a full-field breakout started by Kelly Lang. D'Amico recorded her second immediately afterward when the Big Red won the draw, and Cornell had reached 20 goals for the fourth time in school history and second time in eight days.
Rachel Moody got into the action when she scored with under seven minutes to go. Her goal, the team's 21st, equaled the season high set last week against Canisius on Schoellkopf Field.
D'Amico's hat trick goal with less than five minutes to go was the team's 22nd, tying the record for most goals in program history. The Big Red scored 22 goals on May 1, 1994 against Rutgers, and Cornell continued its streak of having a player score a hat trick in every game this season.
The Big Red returns home this weekend when it takes on Ivy League rival Penn. The Quakers, who are ranked No. 8 in the country, will begin their game in Ithaca at 1 p.m.

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