The Big Red men’s booters went to Columbia over the weekend in quest of a win that would have given the team a .500 record in the Ivies, and an even record overall.
Unfortunately, the match turned out to be a summary of the season – the Red hustled an dominated most aspects of the game, but came up short, as the Lions won 2-1. The Red dropped to 8-9 (3-4 Ivy), while Columbia moved to 10-5-2 (4-2-1 Ivy)
The first Columbia goal came at 8:11, when Tommy McMenamy was taken down in the Cornell box. Senior Tiger Fitzpatrick took the penalty kick, and beat sophomore keeper Carlos Rodriguez in the lower right corner of the goal.
Fitzpatrick struck again 25 minutes later, when teammate Yassine Khendek fed him with a cross pass for what turned out to be the game-winning goal.
Senior Adam Skumawitz scored the only goal of the game and the final goal of the season for the Red. Fellow seniors Jay Rosen and Adam Brown got the assists on the goal.
“There was a scramble in front of the net, and Adam [Brown] lost the ball. He fought really hard to get it back, and eventually got it over to Jay, who got it to [Skumawitz] for the goal,” head coach Bryan Scales said.
“We had the ball most of the game; but when we were on top of them, it left us open to counter-attacks. That’s just what happened to us. It was frustrating, but you couldn’t ask for more from the guys.”
The goal was Skumawitz’s eighth of the season, which was a team high. The San Diego native finished the 2000 campaign with 24 points, tying him for ninth on the all-time men’s soccer scoring list.
Furthermore, Skumawitz was first in overall scoring in the Ivy League, and tied for second in intra-Ivy scoring, with 10 points; Scott Powers of Brown took top honors with 11 points.
Senior co-captain Rick Stimpson ended up tied for fifth in overall scoring.
“They’ll be All-Ivy for sure,” said Scales, “they’ve created great opportunities all year, and were really able to capitalize.”
Even with the team’s outstanding goal scoring, defense was the main problem this year. The Big Red was ranked sixth in scoring in the Ivy League, and had a negative plus/minus rating.
“It’s disappointing,” noted Scales, “defense wins championships. You can’t try to outscore the opposition, and that’s what we ended up doing a lot of the time.”
With their win, the Columbia Lions may earn an at-large bid for the NCAA tournament. Brown, which went 7-0 in the Ivies, has already earned a bid for the tournament.
Archived article by Tom McNulty