After a tough away series last week, the men’s soccer squad got back to their winning ways on Friday, trouncing Penn by a score of 4-2.
A near-capacity crowd greeted the Big Red for their first homecoming game at the newly refurbished Berman Field. The vocal fans were treated to an exciting offensive display, courtesy of the team’s seniors, who stole the show.
The Quakers came into the game with a highly touted defensive corps. Junior Jon Salvucci garnered All-Ivy Honorable Mention in the backfield, and experienced sophomores Eric Mandel and William Lee started 25 games in all last year.
Obviously the Big Red wasn’t so impressed. Senior Rick Stimpson began the offensive barrage, rushing in on Penn keeper Jeffrey Groeber from the wing position less than eight minutes into the game. A lucky pick by Groeber prevented Stimpson from drawing first blood.
Unfortunately for Groeber, the Red offensive unit went on a tear from that point on. A minute later, senior Adam Skumawitz headed freshman Ian Pilarski’s cross into the back of the net. Then, at 12:20, senior David Briefel notched the second goal on a rebound from freshman Colin Nevison.
Cornell continued to pelt the Quakers goal for another 20 minutes afterward. Both Pilarski and Skumawitz got several good opportunities, which either went just wide or were saved by Penn’s Groeber.
With less than 10 minutes in the half, Penn finally managed to get the ball across midfield for a considerable time. At 37:58, Penn junior Sam Chamovitz caught keeper Doug Allan out of position for a moment, and managed to sneak a shot in the lower left of the net. Allan shined in the rest of the game, saving three solid Quaker shots.
Near the end of the first half, junior Ted Papadopoulos headed a free kick from Stimpson for a goal, and then Skumawitz notched his second goal of the match on a pass from Papadopoulos, bringing the score to 4-1 at the half.
The second half of the game was slower-paced than the first half, but still showed Cornell to be the dominant club.
“The second half, we wanted to come out and really press [Penn],” commented head coach Bryan Scales, “[We wanted] to not give them any time to play, and pick up where we left off in the first half. We had a couple breakdowns [in the second half], but overall, we should be pretty happy the way we played; the first half was really good.”
Nine minutes into the half, Skumawitz missed a bid for a hat trick, when his shot from ten yards out glanced off the left post. Undaunted, the Red kept up a solid game in the Penn box and at midfield, with crisp passing by all players. Stimpson’s shot off a centering pass from senior Jay Rosen was deflected, and sophomore Scott Benowicz had two nice shots on goal.
At 75:16, Penn scored the last goal of the match, on a penalty kick by Henry Chen.
Though the Quakers managed to get the last tally, they definitely weren’t in the driver’s seat for the rest of the match. Penn’s head coach Rudy Fuller finally boiled over from frustration at 77:20, drawing a yellow card for verbally abusing an official.
The win pushes the Big Red to 3-2 overall, and 1-0 in the Ivies. The campaign continues tomorrow, when the men travel to Colgate for a 7:00 PM match.
Archived article by Tom McNulty