Throwback Thursday: A Historic Season for Cornell Field Hockey

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Updated: November 3, 2016

This fall in 1978, the women’s field hockey team went on an impressive winning streak. The Big Red defeated St. Lawrence, 3-0, and Brockport, 4-3. This week 38 years ago, the squad entered the postseason against Harvard, who Cornell previously lost to in the regular season. The Crimson possessed the upper hand, seeded sixth in this competition, while the Big Red entered the game unseeded.

To beat Harvard, Coach Pontz claimed that the team would have to double the opposition’s star forward, Sally Melezko, who scored all three goals against Cornell in the last matchup. Lisa Nelsson, the squad’s sweeper, was chosen for this tall task, as she represented “the team’s most steady defender,” according to Pontz.

The Big Red went on to beat the Crimson, 2-1, with junior co-captain Joanne Powell sending a corner shot into the goal with just one minute remaining in overtime.

Ultimately, Cornell lost in the national semifinals to the University of Massachusetts. However, this season proved to be an amazing accomplishment for the Big Red field hockey team and still signifies one of the most successful campaigns in program history.

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