For the men’s soccer team, finishing a season with a double-digit figure in the win column has been an impossible feat in the 21st century. And since the 2001 campaign , the Red has not won more than five games. However, head coach Brian Scales hopes to break this dismal streak with the help of seven freshmen and a sophomore transfer, all of whom joined the roster this year.
Although 2005 was disappointing, with the Red compiling a 3-10-1 record, many individuals exceeded Scales’ expectations and return to form a veteran core that he expects to help the newcomers adjust to form a stronger overall team. Senior co-captains Kyle Lynch and Dan Marks will provide key leadership to this integration as the Red gears up for the 2006 season.
“Certainly our leadership, as much as I’ve seen over the past few days, has been excellent,” Scales said. “As we’ve added many new players to the program over the past few years, the key now for us is to have a stable group of veterans to bring our newer players along efficiently.”
When turning his attention from the returning players to the incoming recruits, Scales stated that the newcomers are “all doing something that will help us.”
Sophomore Miyad Movassaghi, a transfer student who will add depth at the midfield position, is a local product out of Ithaca High School and has long worked with Scales.
While freshman J.J. Bain will also be donning the carnelian and white for the first time, he too has a past with Scales, as he attended the Red’s soccer camp. Scales described him as a “playmaker with good feet and vision who could definitely pass the ball well.”
Along with freshman Matt Bouraee, a product of Manasquan, N.J., Bain hopes to make an impact at forward. Bouraee participated on the New York Red Bull under-20 squad.
“We will rely on [Bouraee] to be what he is: a big goal scorer,” Scales said.
A fellow member of the Class of 2010, Matt Devitt boasts a 6-2, 175-pound frame, and will provide toughness to the backfield. The defender comes to the East Hill from LaGrange, Ill.
“[Devitt is an] athletic, technical defender who can play on the right or left side,” Scales said.
Another freshman is midfielder Michael Fowler, who, along with rookie goaltender Peter Franz, hails from Owego, N.Y.
“[Fowler is] versatile, with good feet and can almost be plugged in anywhere we need him,” Scales said.
Franz will join the goalkeeping corps, a position at which the Red has significant depth. In 2005, sophomore Steve Lesser started 14 of 15 games for Cornell, notching a .716 save percentage and allowing 25 goals. Two of Lesser’s classmates, Matthew Bullough and Luca Cerretani, will also compete for minutes in net for the Red.
Rookies Kevin Gibson and James Harris round out the Class of 2010, adding depth on offense and defense, respectively. Scales pointed out Gibson’s ability to win balls in the air as a particular asset for the squad. Harris will patrol the offensive end of the field, as Scales called him a “pure goal scorer.” While Scales can also see playing Harris in the midfield, the Beverly Hills, Mich., product will hope to make his mark by putting the ball in the net this year.