Cornell's Ida Farinholt Leaves Mark On and Off the Field


Ida Farinholt led Cornell's community outreach initiatives while rehabbing from injuries. She finally got on the field as a junior and enjoyed a breakout season.

US Lacrosse Magazine released the Nike/US Lacrosse Division I Women’s Preseason Top 20 on Jan. 8. Team-by-team previews will be unveiled on throughout January and will also appear as part of the magazine’s NCAA preview edition that mails to US Lacrosse members Feb. 1 — opening day of the 2018 college lacrosse season.

No. 15 Cornell

2017 Record: 13-6 (6-1 Ivy League)
Coach: Jenny Graap (21st year)
All-Time Record: 335-291-4
NCAA Appearances: 5
Final Fours: 1
Championships: 0

Ida Farinholt missed most of her first two seasons at Cornell due to injuries. Actually, the same injury. Twice.

Farinholt had appeared in five games, with three starts, as a freshman in 2015 when an ACL injury sidelined her for the rest of the year. She recovered in time to return in 2016 when a second injury to the same knee, during preseason, put her back on the shelf for the entire campaign. Two years in Ithaca, two debilitating injuries.

Farinholt never slowed down.

“I’ve learned how to be resilient and stay positive,” Farinholt said.

“She has a very optimistic attitude,” Big Red coach Jenny Graap said. “She’s very, very unique.”

Throughout those first two seasons, Farinholt did whatever she could to support her teammates. She transferred the untapped energy from her own game onto others. Perhaps drawing from her experience as a three-sport high school athlete at St. Catherine's School in Richmond, she was determined to stay active and positive.

Farinholt took a leadership role in the team’s community outreach efforts. She became the team’s One Love Foundation facilitator, a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council, and active with the Big Red Leadership Institute. She even volunteered with the field hockey team as a videographer and editor.

“Ida is very special in that she puts a lot of energy into caring for others,” Graap said. “She has had to overcome a lot, but she is still focusing on others. She has a selfless attitude.”

Finally healthy, Farinholt returned to the field last spring and enjoyed a breakout season. She played in 18 games, with 13 starts, scoring 22 goals and finishing among the team leaders with 31 draw controls. Two of her best performances were in the NCAA tournament — two goals and an assist in a first-round win over Notre Dame, and three goals with six draw controls in the second round against Princeton.

Despite playing just one full season, Farinholt was selected by her teammates as a captain for the 2018 season.

“She’s strong and confident on the field again,” Graap said.

The Case For Cornell

The Big Red enter the 2018 campaign with some momentum, coming off consecutive NCAA tournament appearances for the first time in 15 years. There are experienced players throughout the lineup, except in goal, and Graap is extremely high on a 10-player freshman class that should also contribute. The offense lost three of its top four scorers from last year, but returnees Sarah Phillips, Taylor Reed, Tomasina Leska,and Ida Farinholt all contributed 18 goals or more in 2017. Hannah O’Reilly, Cait Callahan, and Mary Kate Bonanni are core returnees from a defense that finished in the top 10 statistically last year.

The Case Against Cornell

There are a number of key losses from last year’s NCAA second-round team, but perhaps none more significant than four-year starting goalie Renee Poullott, who finished second in program history with 453 saves. Poullott's 50.6 save percentage ranked eighth in the nation in 2017 and earned her first team IWLCA All-Region honors. Graap and her staff did not settle on a starter in the fall, although Sammy Nielsen, the most experienced of the three candidates, may be the choice to start the season. A goalie-by-committee approach could also be possible.

Path to the Playoffs

Cornell won nine of its first 10 games last year and had climbed to eighth in the national rankings when it surrendered two goals in the closing 20 seconds of an 11-10 home loss against unranked Albany. That was the first of five losses over the next four weeks, including three against Ivy League heavyweight Princeton. Rubbing salt in the wound, two of the setbacks against the Tigers came on home turf, including the Ivy Tournament final. The April challenge for Cornell will be no easier in 2018, with five of its six games on the road. That includes the annual showdown against Princeton as well as a non-conference visit to Stony Brook.

Players To Watch

Sarah Phillips, A, Jr.
35 G, 15 A

Phillips is the only returnee among last year’s top four scoring leaders and becomes the cornerstone of the offense in 2018. More of a finisher in 2017, she may be called upon for more quarterbacking from the X this spring.

Taylor Reed, M, Sr.
30 G, 38 GB

A tough and gritty midfielder, she does a bit of everything and can make a difference at both ends of the field. She finished third on the team in draw controls last year and will be instrumental in helping Cornell improve on the draw in 2018.

Joey Coffey, M, Sr.

27 GB, 15 CT

The team’s best one-one-one defender who finished second on the squad with 15 caused turnovers last year. A consistent performer who will be one of the key players on the defensive side of the field. She also contributed eight goals last year.

National Rankings




Offense 47th 12.16 GPG
Defense 8th 8.68 GAA
Draws 77th 11.68/game
Ground Balls 77th 17.05/game
Caused TO 90th 7.74/game
Shooting 70th 40.3%
FP Shooting 19th 48.1%
Yellow Cards 91st 20
Assists 44th 5.58/game
Turnovers 4th 13.58/game
Shots 31st 30.16/game

Power Ratings (Scale of 1-5)






Number of caused turnovers in 2017 by senior All-American defender Catie Smith, who set a Cornell single-season record and led the Ivy League in CTs each of the last two years.  Smith also led the team in draw controls, leaving some big holes to fill this spring.

5-Year Trend
Scoring Defense



Per Game

2013 50th 10.69
2014 44th 9.94
2015 21st 8.88
2016 11th 7.32
2017 8th 8.68

Coach Confidential
Jenny Graap

“We must be able to make saves. When you’re not making saves, it puts a lot of pressure on all the other parts of the game. We need to be good there in order to win the Ivy and compete nationally.”

Enemy Lines
Rival Coaches

“Can they find the attacking balance that made this team so hard to defend last year? … Big holes in the defensive end with the loss of first-team All-American Catie Smith and netminder Renee Poullott. … Midfield speed looks good with Taylor Reed, Ida Farinholt and Joey Coffy.”

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