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Cornell field hockey senior sets career assists record

Senior Taylor Standiford looks to pass to an open teammate in the field hockey team’s practice on Oct. 29 at Cornell University.
By Kristen Gowdy and Will LeBlond

The Cornell University field hockey team’s history was changed when senior Taylor Standiford broke the program’s record for career assists on Oct. 24. The midfielder, who had tied the record in the Big Red’s game against the University of Albany last month, recorded two assists to bring her four-year total to 35.

Standiford’s record comes at an optimal time for the team, which is in the midst of a heated race for its first Ivy League championship since 1991. Cornell currently sits in third place behind Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania, but a Big Red win combined with losses from the Tigers and Quakers would create a three-way tie for the title.

For Standiford, winning a conference championship is far more important than breaking the assist record.

“I was made aware of [the record] at the beginning of the season, but to be honest I didn’t think about it very much,” she said.

The record, which was previously held by Cari Hills ’97, came in the Big Red’s 6–1 rout of Brown University. Standiford recorded her two assists in the second half of the win, which, at the time, pushed the Big Red’s overall record to 9–5 and 4–1 in Ivy League play. The team currently holds a record of 10–6 and 4–2 in conference.

Head coach Donna Hornibrook said Standiford, who is in her second year as team co-captain, said the senior’s leadership has been a large part of the team’s success.

“I think she’s a much more confident leader this year,” Hornibrook said. “One of the things we talk about is leading by example, leading by your performance as opposed to trying to do certain things. It should be a natural thing. I think this year she has a good understanding of that, it’s just going about her business. When she plays well, I think our team plays well.”

Many of Standiford’s assists have come off of penalty corners, which have proven a lethal attack for Cornell this season. The Big Red have had 26 more penalty corners (102-76) than their opponents over the course of the season, and due to this, senior defender and fellow co-captain Marisa Siergiej has been on the receiving end of many of Standiford’s assists.

“We both got into penalty corners when we were freshmen,” Siergiej said. “With penalty corners when you have a good relationship, you’ll get a good shot on goal quickly, and that’s why penalty corners can be successful.”

Cornell has one game remaining in the season, an Ivy League match against Dartmouth University in Hanover, N.H. Unless the Big Red make the playoffs, it will mark the end of Standiford’s illustrious career.

And though her assists record will likely last for years to come, Standiford said she is completely focused on the team’s final game.

“That’s way more exciting for me,” she said of the prospect of winning the conference championship. “I’d way rather have a ring than a record.”



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