After an inspiring win against Ivy League foe Harvard last Saturday, the men’s soccer team traveled last night to State College, Pa., a confident bunch for its contest with the nationally-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions.
This time there would be no post game euphoria, as the club was unable to string together consecutive victories, succumbing to the No. 12 Nittany Lions, 3-0.
The squad has dropped three of its last four contests.
Last night’s match at Jeffrey Field saw the Red return to its inconsistent form that was attributable to its troubles two weeks ago when the club lost consecutive games to Yale and Syracuse by a combined total of 6-2.
The booters dropped to 5-5 (2-1 Ivy) on the season, while the Lions improved to a 10-3 mark.
To the Red’s marked disadvantage several of the key components to its defense were sidelined. Senior back tri-captain Adam Brown missed the contest after he sprained his ankle against Harvard. For the Illinois native, watching from the bench will be a novel experience. He entered the season having played in 32 of 33 games in the past two campaigns. Brown also provided the squad several intangibles. His experience and leadership skills were likely sorely missed by the Red. With a corps of young netminders, his veteran status is further augmented in importance. Decidedly one of the most integral players on the squad, noted for his passing skills, also gives the club a moderate two-way presence.
Sophomore Liam Hoban whose defense has been one of the positives for the Red was also inactive after spraining his nose in practice. After an impressive freshman year, he has continued to improve this season and should become one of the club’s premier backs.
Junior David Barrit-Flatt also did not play. The Winnipeg native is no stranger to injury, having spent his entire rookie season watching from the bench. Having appeared in eight games last season, his most notable contribution was to provide added depth to the Red’s midfield.
Facing a depleted Cornell defense, junior Derek Potteiger was all the offense Penn State needed as the Pennsylvania native heard his name announced after all of the team’s goals. The hat trick increased Potteiger team-leading season goal total to 10.
The damage started early for the Big Red as Brett Forbrich drew a foul in the Cornell penalty box. On the penalty kick, Potteiger gunned a shot top-shelf to beat Cornell netminder sophomore Andrew Gordon.
The Lions did not wait long to apply the next blow. Ten minutes later, rookie Nic Shahay found the omnipresent Potteiger, connecting on a pass down the left side that found its way through the Big Red’s defense. Potteiger again overcame Gordon slipping a shot past the keeper in the 17th minute.
After the offensive action calmed for the rest of the first half, Penn State came out roaring in the early moments of the second half. Its offensive efforts came to fruition just two minutes after play resumed. England native Ben Dawson served a direct kick into the box and Potteiger was once again a thorn in the side of the Cornell defenders as he headed the kick, finding the back of the net to make the score 3-0.
The goal all but sealed the fate of the contest.
Having controlled the ball throughout the game, Penn State stifled the Red at both ends of the field.
“Penn State basically outplayed us in almost every aspect of the game,” Cornell head coach Bryan Scales affirmed in an interview on cornellbigred.com
The Red was outshot 15-9, and on the short end of a 5-2 count in corner kicks.
Andrew Gordon made three saves on the 15 shots he faced, while the Nittany Lions keeper Ryan Sickman turned aside six of the nine shots he faced.
Cornell has a 10-day period of inactivity before its faces Ivy League powerhouse Brown on the road October 22 at 1 p.m.
Archived article by Gary Schueller