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Women’s soccer falls to Cornell in final non-conference game

The University of Maine women’s soccer team (2-4-1) traveled 10 hours to Ithaca, N.Y. to take on the Cornell University Big Red (1-3-0) at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16 in their last non-conference game of the season. Unfortunately, the Black Bears fell short by a close score of 1-0. The Black Bears and Big Red have met once before: in 2008, when Maine traveled to New York and earned a 2-0 win.

Starting in goal for the Black Bears was Annalena Kriebisch, a second-year from Potsdam, Germany. Last year, the German international player started seven games, finishing the season with 34 saves. She finished her freshman season with a 0.71 goals against average and three shutouts. This season, she has started every game, logging 659 minutes so far. In net for the Big Red was Meghan Kennedy, a third-year from Santa Clarita, Calif. In four games, she has a 2.47 goals against average and a 0.690 save percentage.  Last year, Kennedy posted a 1.01 goals against average and earned three shutouts.

It was Cornell who struck first. Kaili Gregory, a second-year defender from Washington, D.C., converted on a penalty kick at 16:05 into the first half. This was Gregory’s first goal of the season. Last year, Gregory made four starts among her 11 appearances as a defender.

Kriebisch made some big saves in the first half, keeping the Black Bears in the game. After 45 minutes of play, the Big Red led 1-0 and outshot the Black Bears 6-1.

The Black Bears put on the pressure in the 61st minute when second-year striker Nicole Bailey from Nepean, Ontario sent in a corner that found the head of first-year defender Jane Stevens from Upper Tantallon, Nova Scotia, but the ball just went over the crossbar.

In the 68th minute, Kriebisch came up big again when she put a stop to a Cornell one on one by deflecting the shot away from harm’s way. In the 82nd minute, the German netminder showed her skill once again by charging out on a Cornell breakaway and clearing the ball to the top of the 18-yard box.

After 90 minutes of hard fighting, the Black Bears couldn’t come up with an equalizer, giving the Big Red their second win of the season. Cornell outshot Maine 9-1.

UMaine will return home to start off America East play Sunday, Sept. 24 against Stony Brook University. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. The game can be viewed on ESPN3. Cornell kicks off their Ivy League play at home against Columbia University Friday, Sept. 22. Kickoff for that game is scheduled for 7 p.m. It can be viewed on the Ivy League Network.

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