Forward Bouraee Hones Scoring Ability

October 7, 2009 12:00 am0 comments
Allie Perez

There is no question about it — men’s soccer forward Matt Bouraee can put the ball in the net. The senior striker out of Manasquan, N.J., has been going about this business successfully for years, leading the Red in goals scored for the past two seasons. This year, however, Bouraee has tried a different approach.

“I’ve always been the player with the horse mentality,” he said. “[I] run by as many players and shoot the ball as hard as I can into the net. It worked very well in high school, and it seemed to work my sophomore year at Cornell. But as teams scout you as a player and find your tendencies, they might be able to put an athlete or two on you to restrict your abilities.”
Bouraee changed his mindset after training at the Red Bull Academy over the summer — as a fellow Cornellian, camp coach and former second team All-American Rob Elliott ’97 took a special interest in him.
“I learned the difference between being a professional soccer player and a college soccer player, and it came down to … reading each situation and making the right decision with the ball, whether it’s a pass or a dribble or a shot,” Bouraee said. “It’s made a difference.”
Asked to wear the captain’s armband before the first game, the senior is climbing Cornell’s all-time charts. An assist in the weekend’s tie with Penn brought his career points total to 41, nine of them coming this year — Bouraee is now four points shy of the top-10 career points list.
While excited to be learning from knowledgeable new head coach Jaro Zawislan, the senior gives much credit to assistant coach Joe Schneck — a former forward himself.
“We had personal training sessions one-on-one with a goalie three times a week during the offseason,” Bouraee said. “I came here as a guy with remarkable athletic ability, and he turned me into the forward I am today.”