Small College Sports

Cornell women's soccer unbeaten in last 10 matches, eyes first MWC tournament berth

Rams pick up another MWC point with 2-2 tie against Ripon

Cornell freshman Sydney Hancox (19), a Cedar Rapids Prairie graduate, fends off an opponent during a Midwest Conference women’s soccer match against Ripon at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, on Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019. (Photo by Jessica Budlong/Cornell Sports Information)
Cornell freshman Sydney Hancox (19), a Cedar Rapids Prairie graduate, fends off an opponent during a Midwest Conference women’s soccer match against Ripon at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, on Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019. (Photo by Jessica Budlong/Cornell Sports Information)
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MOUNT VERNON — The Cornell women’s soccer team has suddenly become a tough out.

After losing four of their first six matches this season, the Rams are now unbeaten in their last 10.

“We have that attitude,” fourth-year Cornell Coach Jose Fajardo said after the Rams battled Ripon to a 2-2 draw in a Midwest Conference match Sunday at Cornell’s new soccer field. “That no matter how bad it goes sometimes. We didn’t play well the first 25, 30 minutes. We allowed some shots that could have been goals. They scored first, but we have that attitude. We have that winning mentality right now that we don’t quit. We don’t quit. It doesn’t matter who it is and how ugly it gets, we don’t quit and I think that is what makes champions at the end of the day.”

Cornell (10-4-2, 4-0-2 MWC) got its current run of good fortune started with a 2-1 victory over Coe on Sept. 25, its first over its rival since 2014. Nearly a month later, the Rams have become just the sixth team in the 29-year history of the program to post a double-digit win total.

“It is our team chemistry this year,” senior forward Sofia Schnur said. “We all really love each other, so we work hard for each other and making those runs off the ball. We are really generous with it, too, so no one has really been a big ball hog. We give each other those opportunities.”

That generosity is evident by a whopping 12 different Rams scoring a goal this season, led by Schnur, who leads the team in both goals (10) and assists (8). Senior Ashley Quesada and sophomore Georgia James each have six goals, while sophomore Sam O’Brien and freshman Sydney Hancox, a Cedar Rapids Prairie graduate, have four assists apiece.

The tie gave Cornell another point in the Midwest Conference, where the Rams are a solid third behind Knox and Monmouth. Should Cornell finish the season in the top four of the conference, it would qualify for the Midwest Conference postseason for the first time in school history.

“That would mean everything to us,” Schnur said. “We are here to do the best we can and I think we can make it this year and break those records.”

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The Rams have a challenging slate to end the regular season with road matches at fourth-place Grinnell and sixth-place St. Norbert this week, then the home finale Nov. 2 against Knox, the only other team that is unbeaten in conference play apart from Cornell.

“Now we have three tough, tough matches,” Fajardo said. “They are all direct opponents, so we will see what happens. I like our chances.”

Women’s soccer

AT MOUNT VERNON

Cornell 2, Ripon 2

Goals — RIP: Maggie Bouque (1), Maeve Kim (2); COR: Georgia James (6), Sofia Schnur (10). Assists — RIP: Brianna Schnell (2), Kate Kabacinski (1); COR: Sofia Schnur (8).

Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

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