The Cornell soccer team (2-0) picked up after a two-week layoff on Saturday right where it left off. Junior goalkeeper Doug Allan picked up his second shutout in as many games, and three players notched their first collegiate goals as the Red rolled over Adelphi (0-4-1), 5-0.
Cornell initially showed a little rust from its time away from the field but didn’t take long to get back into a groove.
“The first 15 minutes, we were a little shaky,” Allan recalled. “Once we got past that first 15 minutes, we started playing Cornell’s game.”
Freshman defender Scott Palguta put Cornell on the board 18:36 into the game with his first goal, a header off sophomore Colin Nevison’s corner kick.
“Palguta’s been playing so strong, and he deserves some recognition, and this might give it to him,” Allan praised.
The 1-0 score stood until halftime despite a number of Adelphi scoring opportunities.
The Red took advantage of another corner in the 57th minute when senior Nick Haigh redirected Palguta’s shot off sophomore Ian Pilarski’s corner kick.
Adelphi had a few more scoring chances but wasn’t able to get by Allan and the Cornell defense.
“The back four and Doug Allan were terrific again,” head coach Bryan Scales noted. “They just held out until we could get some goals.”
The scoring subsided until the last ten minutes of the match, when the Cornell offense suddenly erupted.
Sophomore Doug Charton began the fireworks when he took a pass on a break from senior Ted Papadopoulos and drilled it into the back of the net. The forward celebrated his first collegiate goal by blowing a series of kisses to the crowd of 724.
Charton’s classmate Kaj Hackinen rifled a shot from long range into the goal with under 1:30 left in the game. Hackinen’s first goal at Cornell put the Red up 4-0. With less than a minute remaining, Charton scored his second goal of both the night and his career on another shot from a distance. Pilarski and Hackinen, respectively, picked up the assists on the goals.
Allan played a strong game, making five saves, including a sharp stop off a Mariusz Kulesza header when Adelphi stepped up the pressure late in the first half. Allan’s five saves increased his season total to 11 without having allowed a goal.
“Dougie’s done really well, and Kevin Bacher, our goalkeeper coach, has done a terrific job with Doug,” Scales said. “He’s just so in tune and sharp on the field, and he’s decisive when he comes off his line, and he made a couple great saves to keep us in the game.
Cornell’s defense helped Allan’s cause, diverting some of Adelphi’s attacks and creating a few counterattacks. Sophomore Matt Blumenstyk filled in admirably at defense for classmate Evan Wiener, who is recovering from an appendectomy.
The Panthers continued to struggle offensively. Through five games, Kulesza has scored the team’s lone goal. Meanwhile, Adelphi has surrendered 15 tallies. Goalie Steve Elliot could only muster one save in Saturday’s game.
Saturday night’s match under the Berman Field lights marked the Red’s first action since the tragic events of September 11. The flag flew at half staff at the south end of the field in remembrance. The players, coaches, and crowd observed a moment of silence before the game and didn’t give the usual “Red” yell during the Hangovers’ rendition of the national anthem.
Cornell will go on the road for the first time this season tomorrow when it meets St. Bonaventure in a game added to the schedule after the attacks.
“I’m happy to be in this position, but it’s only been two games,” Allan said. “It’s a good feeling but we gotta move on.”
Archived article by Alex Fineman