After 110 minutes of playing time, and a total of 29 fouls, 19 shots, nine saves, three offsides and one yellow card, the goal never arrived. This was the situation the men’s soccer team found itself in on Sunday in Vestal, N.Y., where it tied Binghamton, 0-0.
“We just didn’t create as many chances as we wanted,” said freshman attacking midfielder Daniel Haber. “But another factor in their advantage was their goalie. He made some important plays.”
However, this tie is a positive result for Cornell, taking into account that Binghamton has not lost a local regular season match since 2007. The Bearcats have a 39-5-15 home record since 2003, which means they have just lost five times in 59 matches.
“Every game we go in, we seek to get a positive result by preparing ourselves. We try to do everything in our reach to get a win,” said head coach Jaro Zawislan. “A tie is still a good result on the road, especially in the case of a quality team such as Binghamton. When you play on the road and face a team with home advantage, it is not easy. It was great that our team still managed to execute the game plan.”
Cornell (3-2-3) arrived to this game with a record of two wins and a tie in its last three games –– 3-1 against St. Joseph’s, 1-0 versus Canisius College and a 1-1 draw with Syracuse. The Bearcats were also in an acceptable position, as they hosted the Red with a two-game unbeaten streak after defeating No. 26 Lafayette in Easton, Pa., and tying Colgate, 1-1, at home.
Binghamton’s attackers struck first, when sophomore forward Adam Whitehead shot to Cornell’s goal within the first 45 seconds of regulation. However, the ball went wide and in less than two minutes, the Red answered back with a shot on goal by sophomore forward Tyler Regan, who stroked five of the six shots the Red had on Bearcats freshman keeper Chris Hayen’s target. Cornell sophomore goalkeeper Rick Pflasterer’s net, contrastingly, was threatened with three shots on target throughout the entire matchup.
The first half saw four shots –– two on target –– from Binghamton and three –– one on goal –– from Cornell. During this period of time, the Bearcats had the opportunity to take three corner kicks, while the Red’s offense was deprived of any attempts.
The second half also saw Binghamton hold a slim advantage, 4-3, in shots over Cornell. However, out of all the shots executed by the Bearcats, not a single one was a threat on goal for Pflasterer. The Red, however, shot directly to Hayen’s goal on three different occasions –– two by Regan during the first 10 minutes of the half, and one by junior defender Kyle Parsons in the 85th minute. Cornell also managed to dominate its opposition in the spectrum of corner kicks during this period. The Red took six corner kicks without conceding a single chance to the Bearcats.
Cornell then proceeded to hold a slim advantage during both overtime periods by outshooting Binghamton three (two on target) to two (one on target). At the end, however, neither team was able to capitalize on scoring opportunities.
“We created some chances, and [Binghamton] had a couple, too. Our team had chances to win the game but it is difficult to play soccer on road environments like they have in Binghamton,” Zawislan said. “Although it was a positive result, we were not fully satisfied. It was good to see that players were not satisfied. We play to win games.”
The Red’s next game will mark the beginning of the Ivy League campaign. Cornell will host No. 10 Penn (5-1-0) this Saturday at 2 p.m. at Charles F. Berman Field.
“The Ivy League opener is a brand new season for every team in the conference. Everyone starts at zero wins and zero losses,” Zawislan said. “We are looking for the Cornell and Ithaca community to bring good numbers and support our team. We are preparing for Saturday’s game and expect a great environment.”
Original Author: AJ Ortiz