By JACK KANTOR
After a well fought loss to the Harvard Crimson (4-4-2, 2-0 Ivy), Cornell (2-9-1, 0-2 Ivy) punched in an early goal against the Colgate Raiders (5-6-1, 2-2 Patriot) to earn a much needed win, 1-0, with the team struggling as of late.
Eighteen shots, a season high for Red, was not enough to defeat the Crimson on Saturday. On paper, one would think Cornell should have won the match, holding Harvard to a mere five shots.
“We definitely felt we did enough during the game to come out with a positive result … however, it comes down to the goals scored,” said head coach Jaro Zawislan.
Zawislan explained that the Red displayed solid possession of the ball and put forth quality chances. Unfortunately, it was simply a matter of scoring more goals than the opponent, something the Red just could not do.
The Crimson made the most of each scoring opportunity, netting its first goal off of a 30-yard free kick on one of its first attacks into Cornell’s territory.
Sophomore Jonathan Cullom and junior Liam Crotty headed the scoring attack with several scoring opportunities between them, giving the Red an 11-1 shot advantage heading into halftime. However, Cornell still remained down a goal.
The Red kept the attack up in the second half but still conceded a second goal to Harvard falling, 2-0, to the Crimson after 90 minutes. Nonetheless, it was a positive game for Cornell, but still not a win. With a team struggling as much as the Red, the squad needs actual victories, not mental victories.
Junior JJ Black shared these sentiments in a postgame interview.
“We need more than positives; we need results,” he said.
Ivy League competition is difficult and Cornell would have the opportunity to bounce back on Tuesday in their final non-conference match against Colgate before getting into the thick of conference play.
Bouncing back is exactly what the team did, defeating the Raiders, 1-0. Six minutes into the contest, sophomore Eric Nuss netted a shot into the top left corner off of a pass into the box from Collum.
Cornell held its ground, although a bit more conservatively when the Raiders sent extra men on offense at the beginning of the second half. Nevertheless, the Red kept up the attack.
“We wanted to get that second goal,” Zawislan said. “We didn’t want to sit on a 1-0 lead, it’s dangerous.”
However, Colgate’s extra players on the offensive proved to be troublesome for Cornell, as the ball tended to be on the Red’s side of the field. As a result, Cornell pulled an extra man back on defense. Zawislan noted how the reinforcement on defense calmed things down for Cornell.
The Red staved off the Raiders, who were eagerly looking for an equalizer late in the match, and came up with the victory.
After a four game losing streak, this win against a quality squad such as Colgate can be essential in boosting the morale of the Red. But coach Zawislan insisted the players have been positive all the way through, and that is how Cornell was able to bounce back and get the win in the first place.
Despite its struggles, the Cornell men’s soccer team is not slowing down, especially after a solid win on Tuesday.
“There is always room to improve on both sides of the ball … and the team has been improving. We will continue to do that,” Zawislan said.
The effort and improvement of this squad has been evident in its consistently strong training sessions. This week’s agenda for Cornell is preparing for Saturday’s game against the Yale Bulldogs (1-9-0, 0-2 Ivy).