It’s been a while since the Cornell men’s soccer team has had some real competition to go after. Following a long summer of departing seniors and young players bursting with promise, the squad is more than ready to take the field against Colgate (1-2). Tomorrow night’s opener against the Raiders will be under the Berman Field lights at 7:00 p.m.
“We’re just sick and tired of kicking each other,” head coach Bryan Scales said. “We’re ready for a game. The guys are tired of training, and now it’s just a matter of getting out and getting into a competition and playing.”
Colgate, who is coming off a tough 3-2 overtime loss to Syracuse, has a reputation of being a team that will put up a fight for the entire game and in all spots on the pitch.
“We’ve always had very good games with Colgate,” Scales recalled. “Their characteristics don’t change too much. They are very hard-working, they pressure the ball all over the field. They compete for all head balls and tackles and loose balls.”
The Red has a 46-20-5 all-time record against ‘Gate, dating back to 1921. Last year’s tilt between the two schools was won by Cornell, 3-1, but all three of the Red goals were netted by seniors who have since moved on to the professional ranks.
Scales is confident in the booters who have moved up into starting roles, as evidenced by the fact that the starting lineup is completely set.
“To be honest, the preseason has gone quite well,” Scales noted. “The veterans have been terrific. [Junior] Liam Hoban, who’s our captain, has been very good. The chemistry is pretty good.”
Senior striker Ted Papadopoulos, who led the Red with six goals two years ago, will be counted on for veteran leadership, as will fifth-year senior back Nick Haigh. Junior Doug Allan, who saw some time in the cage last year, will be the starting goalkeeper against the Raiders.
Colgate, like Cornell, is an extremely young team. It only has two seniors, and is led offensively by sophomore midfielder Zach Stuppy. ‘Gate will probably start either Will Martin or Jon Brunell, both sophomores, in net.
Cornell has seen some action against another team, having scrimmaged Plattsburgh two weeks ago. But tomorrow night’s contest will be the first real test for a team with a lot of inexperienced players.
To win, the Red will have to match Colgate’s competitiveness and stick to what has worked for Cornell in the past – basic ball-control soccer.
“We’ll hopefully come out flying on Saturday night,” Scales said, “and just see how things look.”
Archived article by Alex Fineman