The men’s soccer team looks to turn the tides this weekend against the University at Buffalo. Since 1989, the Buffalo Bulls lead the Red in the five-game series history, 3-2. 3-of-5 games went in to double-overtime, and every time a game was played, the home team lost. Cornell won’t rely on crossed fingers that the home field disadvantage continues.
The Red came up short last year with a final score of 1-0 after two tense overtime periods and an elaborate celebration dance by a Bull who let the excitement get the better of him as he ripped his shirt off.
Sophomore defender Miyad Movassaghi is optimistic for the Buffalo match.
“I feel we competed and did very well last game; it was unfortunate to end in the loss,” Movassaghi said. “The main thing to come out of last week’s game is basically not to lose focus — stay concentrated from the beginning whistle to the final whistle.”
Movassaghi, a returning starter on the team and an Ithaca native, places casual confidence in the team’s ability to work together to get the job done.
“From the players, if everyone concentrates, does his part and supports one another in the game, we have nothing to fear and we will end up winning the game,” he said. “The key is to have all the players focused both on and off the field.”
Coming off of a disappointing loss last weekend, the Red looks to take full advantage of the long stretch of time they had between games.
Senior tri-captain Jarid Siegel, though unable to play due to injury, is similarly looking forward to the match with Buffalo.
“I am expecting us to play hard and move the ball very quickly,” he said. “We will be playing on field turf so Sunday’s game will be a good opportunity to see how fast we can string passes together. If we do both those things then hopefully we can get results.”
The rest week gave Cornell a chance to rebuild and regroup. Many of the players used this week as an opportunity to get back to full strength. Senior tri-captain and defender Kyle Lynch hopes to return to the field on Sunday after battling injury. The addition of Lynch in the game will further challenge the Bull’s offense.
Cornell players are anxious for the healed Lynch to get back on the field.
“If Kyle’s ankle feels well enough for him to play, then he will definitely add leadership and an extra aerial presence in the back. It is always comforting to see his red head hit the ball back into our offensive half,” Siegel said.
The anticipated return of Lynch would mean a slight readjustment in the back for Red.
“Kyle and I are actually the center backs and Joe (Yonga) is now a center midfielderm” Movassaghi said. “Having Kyle back is a great plus for our team. We can’t replace his leadership and defensive skill.”
The Red has been successful so far this season in integrating freshmen onto the field and into the game. In addition, Cornell has effectively substituted men off of the bench to change up the game and keep players fresh.
“Buffalo will definetly be a tough match, but the way we have played and the way we are capable of playing will conclude in a victory for our team,” Movassaghi said. “I hope to see a lot of effort coming off our bench and that is key to our outcome as well. It is their spark and energy which can change the outcome of games. … I think now our lineup is stronger than ever. We will just have to prove it to everyone else.”