Senior faces sister in Cornell matchup
The Rutgers women’s lacrosse team welcomes Ivy League foe Cornell for tomorrow’s matchup at the RU Turf Field.
The Big Red visit Piscataway with a blank record, but they also do so with a first-team All-Ivy and second-team All-Region attack.
Cornell’s heralded senior captain led her squad in goals and points a season ago, and returns as the Big Red’s go-to scorer.
But the Scarlet Knights (0-1) also have an All-Big East and All-Region player in senior midfielder Ali Steinberg.
Steinberg tallied five points Wednesday, notching three goals and two assists in the Knights’ season opener against Temple. But her five points were not enough as the Owls’ 5-0 second-half run erased Rutgers’ strong start.
The Suffern, N.Y., native and the Knights must lock in for the full 60 minutes to slow down Cornell.
Steinberg also faces an even bigger task against the Big Red, as she will not only combat Cornell’s all-region attack, but also the emotional burden of competing against her twin sister, Jessi Steinberg.
For the final time, the senior captains of their respected squads take the field against each other.
“It’s already been three years we’ve played each other,” Ali Steinberg said. “To be honest with you, I get so hyped and everything that I forget about the game. I couldn’t tell you one thing that happened last year.”
Although Ali Steinberg could not draw the specifics of last season’s 11-7 win from memory, the win was all that mattered.
The Knights received three goals from then-sophomore Stephanie Anderson, as Ali Steinberg picked up two assists in the process.
Anderson scored the first goal of the second half against the Owls, but after scoring her second goal of the half with 25 minutes remaining, she witnessed a surge.
It positioned the Owls and left the Knights guessing, as a dip in the team’s energy level opened the door for Temple.
“We need to control the ball [against Cornell],” Anderson said. “If we get down by two goals, we need to step up and get our intensity level back up.”
Cornell features a well-rounded offense with multiple scoring threats.
“It’s awesome for our defense to play against their attack,” Ali Steinberg said. “Not just focusing on one player, but all seven players on the attack.”
Ali Steinberg was quick to not reference her sister’s potential, but the Cornell captain enters Saturday’s match as a formidable threat.
She scored two of the Big Red’s seven goals in last season’s loss and represents the biggest challenge to the Knights defense.
Senior back Rebecca Alley and the Knights defensive unit held Jaymie Tabor and Temple’s offense in check, until Rutgers could not get control of the ball.
The squad looks to stymie the balanced Cornell offense and stick to the team’s theme of staying focused the entire game.
With Ali Steinberg’s sister coming to town and a late collapse against Temple, the Knights want to stay focused and motivated in their second home game of the season.