While the rest of campus will be cleared out for fall break, the men’s soccer team will be hard at work preparing for their next challenge. Tomorrow, the Red will play host to Harvard, its second Ivy League match in as many weeks.
The Red is coming off of an impressive win against nationally-ranked Penn last weekend. Although the Quakers outshot Cornell, the Red maintained its defensive intensity and picked up its first league win of the season.
“I think that [the team is] feeling good but [we] know that we still have quite a bit of work to do,” head coach Bryan Scales said. “We played a really good game against Penn, took advantage on a lot of opportunities and I think we looked good out there, but the next question is can we do that again and prove ourselves in the next game we play in.”
As the season progresses, a young Red team is beginning to mature bit by bit. From the start of the season, Scales has seen the team improve noticeably with every game and every practice.
“We’re making progress every week,” Scales said. “We aren’t Real Madrid but we’ve been improving every week, which is always great. We have different guys helping out each game and as the young guys keep getting experience, especially in the Ivy games, I think it will help us move forward. It’s a good group, good chemistry and we’re going to win some big games this season.”
Harvard (4-3-1, 0-1 Ivy), on the other hand, will arrive on East Hill riding a two-game losing streak. After going 4-1-1 to open the season, the Crimson has been sluggish in its past two matches. The team lost a closely played match to Ivy rival Yale, 3-1, on Oct. 1, and most recently blew a golden opportunity when it watched a 3-0, first-half lead slip away in an overtime lose at the hands of Rhode Island. However, the Red know from past experiences that the Crimson is not an easy team to beat.
“A lot of Ivy teams are pretty similar and the league is really tight,” Scales said. “I’ve felt that Harvard has been the most talented team in our league in the past years, so we know we will have to play well to beat them.”
In particular, the Crimson is an aggressive team, averaging 1.75 goals per game thus far in the season. The Red defense will once again have a tough task at hand in order to secure a victory. “[Harvard is] very dangerous going forward. They score a lot of goals, and we know that. So our ‘D’ will have to play well if we want a real chance at winning,” Scales said.
Scales anticipates a tightly contested game tomorrow, as the Red looks to keep up its upward momentum in the Ivy standings and Harvard attempts to stop its slide downward.
“[Harvard needs] to win this game to stay in the Ivy race,” Scales said. “We expect them to come out and put a lot of pressure on us. But our guys always welcome a challenge and will be ready come game time. The guys are looking forward to Harvard and the guys are looking forward to going out, competing and winning the game.”
Archived article by Ben Kopelman
Sun Staff Writer