It’s been a wild ride of late for the men’s soccer team. After heartbreaking losses to Syracuse and Ivy rival Yale two weeks ago, the Big Red rallied and beat the Harvard Crimson in an overtime thriller in Cambridge last Saturday.
Tonight, senior heroes Rick Stimpson and Adam Skumawitz hope to get off the roller coaster with a win against Penn State in State College, PA.
Penn State comes into the game ranked 12th in the NCAA Division I poll, with a 9-3-0 record. The traditionally strong Nittany Lions boast a 0.9 goals against average, in addition to ten players with multiple goals this season.
Cornell head coach Bryan Scales isn’t intimidated by the Lions’ reputation.
“In the end, it’s still eleven versus eleven on the field. We’re not going to worry about the opposition’s ranking.”
The Big Red will be playing without some of its big guns tonight. Senior back Adam Brown sprained his ankle against Harvard, and is not scheduled to play. Junior David Barritt-Flatt is still hurt, and sophomore Liam Hoban broke his nose in practice this week, and also will not play.
PSU keeper Ryan Sickman may be in for a surprise in net. Skumawitz has five goals on the season, and twelve points total; Stimpson has four goals and four assists. The freshmen are getting into the act as well — Colin Nevison and Ian Pilarski have six points between them.
With adrenaline running high from the Harvard match, the Big Red has a good shot to knock the Lions down a few notches in the polls. Scales knows the gravity of this matchup.
“This has been a tough stretch for us. These matches are important for the [NCAA] tournament,” the coach said. “We’ve got a week off after this, so this is a finale for the first half of the season.”
Archived article by Tom McNulty