Call it a Rosen Explosion.
Prior to last night, senior Jay Rosen hadn’t tallied a point all season. But last night, his three goals and seven total points helped the Big Red booters crush the Army Cadets by a score of 6-0 at Berman Field.
The match began as a tense affair, as Army and Cornell took turns charging up the field to the opposing goal. The biggest Army scoring threats came from their speedy senior forwards Thomas Obaseki and Josh Summerlin. Fortunately, the Red back four effectively neutralized any of their rushes.
“We knew about [Obaseki and Summerlin] ahead of time. . .and we just had to make sure that we didn’t give them a lot of space,” head coach Bryan Scales said.
At 18:24 freshman midfielder Ian Pilarski broke away from his defender on the right side, and sprinted to the Army box. Rosen fed him with a darting pass, and Pilarski beat Cadet keeper Tyler Donnell low right for the first goal of the match.
Freshman midfielder Art Solis notched the second goal of the match and the first of his Cornell career eleven minutes later, when he blasted a shot from twenty yards out which caught Donnell napping.
The Red finished the half with a cross pass from senior tri-captain Rick Stimpson to fellow senior Adam Skumawitz, who blasted it just over the crossbar.
That was Stimpson’s best scoring chance of the evening; the Ivy Player of the Week, who was involved in every Big Red goal over the weekend, was held scoreless for the evening.
After the half, the game was marked by Cornell’s offensive barrages and stellar play by the backs and goalkeepers.
Starting Cornell keeper Doug Allan played an aggressive game all around, challenging Army forwards at every opportunity, and winning each battle.
Unfortunately, at 58:56, Allan was injured when he slid to pick a ball from an Army forward. He left the game with blood gushing from his nose.
“I’m not exactly sure [what happened down there], but I went for the ball and I got kicked in the head,” the sophomore noted after the game.
Allen’s classmate, Andrew Gordon, came into the game to replace the injured starter, and helped Allan to his third shutout start.
But the story of the match was Jay Rosen. He began his hat trick at 61:07, when Solis fed him at the top of the box, and the senior crushed it past a paralyzed Cadet team. A minute and a half later, Skumawitz hit a streaking Rosen, who chipped the ball in for the easy goal. His last strike came with fifteen minutes to play, when Skumawitz steered a cross pass to Rosen, and Rosen buried the ball in the upper left corner of the goal.
“Jay was in the ‘zone’ today; he was creating chances for himself,” Scales said.
Skumawitz was a force in his own right. After his three assists, he scored the last goal of the match, kicking in a rebound from freshman midfielder Kaj Hackinen’s shot, for a 6-0 Red win.
Asked about his performance, Skumawitz said, “It feels great, this is only my second year playing on top [instead of center midfielder], and I’m still getting used to it.”
Skumawitz’s relative inexperience has certainly not affected his performance this season – his seven points gave him 22 total on the season, and made him the top scorer in the Ivy League, and a candidate for his second Ivy Player of the Week award.
Combined with the stunning victory against Princeton on Saturday, the Red’s victory last night marks a turnaround for the club, which was in a free-fall for much of the month of October.
Scales commented on the remainder of the Red’s season.
“We want to win our last three, obviously. . .we’re going to finish as high as we can in the Ivy League; if we’re 5-2 and some teams lose, and we tie for first, we’ll take it.
“We have a really difficult schedule, so that will help us; but for us to get an at-large bid [for the NCAA Tournament], it’s doubtful but you just never know,” the coach said.
Archived article by Tom McNulty