PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — It’s disappointing to lose a match 1-0. It’s even more disappointing to lose a match 1-0 in the second overtime. Just ask the men’s soccer team. The Cornell offense continued to sputter, and a strong effort by goalkeeper Doug Allan wasn’t enough to keep Penn (4-2-1, 1-0-0 Ivy) from taking its Ivy opener at home on a muddy field on Saturday afternoon.
Allan stopped eight shots, keeping the Red in the game, but he was unable to corral a rebound two minutes into the second 15-minute overtime period. Quaker freshman Chris Fisher was on top of the loose ball and directed it into the net for his first collegiate goal. Fisher’s efforts earned him Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors.
The two teams pressured each other equally in the first half, with Cornell out-shooting Penn by a 6-5 margin. The Quakers took over in the second half, though, firing 14 shots to the Red’s five. Penn netminder Matthew Haefner made a total of four saves in the match. Both Haefner and Allan were named to the Ivy League Honor Roll.
“He [Allan] was just sharp and made some big saves when we needed him to,” assistant coach Kevin Bacher praised. “I feel bad for him that he got scored on at the end.”
The contest wasn’t completely devoid of opportunities for Cornell. Junior Scott Benowicz hit the post in the first half. Sophomore Doug Charton, the Red’s leading scorer, fired a shot over the net with 13 minutes left in regulation, and junior captain Liam Hoban’s header in the first overtime period was deflected over the net as well.
Meanwhile, Quaker captain Evan Anderson nearly put an end to the match in the first overtime, hitting the crossbar from 25 yards out.
“When it goes to overtime, you gotta capitalize on the couple chances you can, and they got it before we did. That’s just how it goes,” Bacher recalled.
“We pretty much played poorly in all aspects of the game, but we talked about it, put it in the past, and moved on,” Charton noted. “It was just an ugly game.”
The match was the second Ancient Eight contest for the Red (2-2-1, 0-1-1), who was coming off a scoreless tie against Columbia a week earlier. Cornell’s scoreless streak now extends to 317:20.
“We just gotta keep working at it, we’ll find goals,” Bacher said. “It’s soccer. Sometimes you get in streaks where you score, and sometimes you don’t.”
With the loss, the Red fell to a tie for sixth in the league, while Penn is positioned in second. Cornell will attempt to halt its offensive drought tonight under the Berman Field lights when it takes on Penn State (7-2-0, 3-1-0 Big Ten) at 7 p.m.
The Nittany Lions are currently ranked 19th in the nation and have posted back-to-back shutouts of Northwestern and Wisconsin. Penn State is led by Ricardo Villar, a Hermann trophy hopeful who has posted 16 points in nine games, and goaltender Eric Earnhardt, who is 5-1 with a 0.48 GAA. Head coach Barry Gorman became the winningest coach in school history with the victory over Wisconsin.
Nittany Lions senior Derek Potteiger won last year’s contest against the Red single-handedly, recording a hat trick en route to a 3-0 win in State College, PA.
Red head coach Bryan Scales will juggle the lineup a bit to try to provide a much-needed offensive spark. Senior Matt Eldridge will take over in the middle, while sophomore Kaj Hackinen will play left midfield.
“We’ve worked on a couple of things, and we’ve got to come in with an aggressive mentality,” Charton said. “I think he [Scales] just wants a little change of pace.”
After the Penn State match, the Red will get back into its Ivy schedule on Saturday night. Harvard will visit the East Hill for a 7 p.m. contest.
Archived article by Alex Fineman