After winning the first two games of its season in California last weekend, Cornell (2-0-0) has its sights set on the its game against Lafayette tonight. The Red is hoping to pick up another “W” this weekend to boost its record to three wins and zero losses — a starting season record the Red has not repeated since 2007.
“As the results showed last weekend, we are exactly where we need to be for Friday’s game,” said head coach Jaro Zawislan. “The most important thing for us though is to keep improving through the whole season.”
According to Zawislan, schools in the Ivy League generally start their soccer seasons a few weeks later than most other out-of-conference schools do. This puts the Red at a slight disadvantage against out-of-conference teams in terms of fitness and tactical preparation, which Zawislan pointed out has not been much of a factor in the Red’s performance against out-of-conference teams.
“It’s very important for our players to come in and hit the ground running by creating a very solid physical foundation, and credit to our players, they’ve done that,” he said. “We felt like we were in the best position to be able to catch up with the rest of the country.”
The team is itching to continue its success this weekend against Lafayette, working hard in practice to prepare both physically and mentally for Friday’s game. Cornell and Lafayette have played against each other since 1987, with Lafayette emerging as the dominant team by winning 5 out of 9 encounters with Cornell.
“In previous years [Lafayette] has been a tough opponent, but we’re looking to come out strong and continue playing our brand of soccer,” said senior goalkeeper Rick Pflasterer. “Last year we didn’t start nearly as strong, so we’re looking to keep the season rolling.”
The Red works hard in practice to find a winning formula, which is something junior defensive midfielder Ben Williams said the team plans to continue using.
“What we’re doing, what we’re practicing as a team is successful and we’ll just continue on with it,” he said. “The next game for us is a big one.”
The Red is closing in on a long-held school record. If the team scores goals in its next three games, then this year’s team would tie the school record of 21 consecutive games with at least one goal scored. That record, set in the 1970 and 1971 seasons, has stood for over 40 years.
According to Zawislan, the secret to Cornell’s success comes from the dedication of his players to improving all aspects of their game.
Original Author: Alex Gatto