The men’s soccer team turned the corner last night in a big 3-1 victory over No. 17 Penn State on Cornell’s Berman Field. This win gets the Red back on the right track again and only augments its case to remain in the top 25.
“It was nice to score some goals and relieve the pressure up top [on the forwards], said Junior goalkeeper Doug Allan, who has given up one or less goal, five out of six games so far this season.
The Red was having problems finishing on its scoring opportunities over the past couple of games, as the offense got blanked and was winless over the past three games.
Last night was a different story as the offense looked fluid and free-flowing. The midfielders were strong with their possession and distribution to the forwards.
“We came out with intensity and the right mentality,” said head coach Bryan Scales, “and played a lot of ‘pass and move soccer.'”
The Nittany Lions’ defenders were paralyzed by Cornell’s midfielders all night long. The forwards released and found space behind the defenders en route to several great scoring opportunities throughout the game. Penn State’s defenders and midfielders had no answer to the Red’s offensive gameplan.
The Nittany Lions came into the game with a well balanced scoring attack, as 12 different players managed to record a tally in the goal sheet thus far this season.
“Midweek games are tough and they [Penn State] expected to walk in here and roll over us… we weren’t having it,” said junior team captain and defender Liam Hoban.
The Red struck twice in the first half. Freshman forward Steven Rutter scored his first collegiate goal in the 23rd minute.
“Steve’s goal was basically a ‘right place, right time’ goal as the ball bounced around in the box off several players and he put it home,” said Hoban.
Senior forward Ted Papadopoulos scored the game winner in the 38th minute as he beat two Nittany Lion defenders to the top of the box and rifled a shot in the lower left corner to make it 2-0 Cornell.
Hoban scored the last Cornell goal in the 56th minute from almost midfield on a free kick. Senior defender Nick Haigh suckered Penn State goalkeeper Ryan Sickman out of the goal. This sent the ball careening over Sickman’s head and into the net.
Penn State finally put up a goal late in the second half as Doug Allan was screened on the shot from Brent Jacquette.
Scales said, “The back four were terrific, we were sharp, and everyone was on the same page. This result shows our guys what type of soccer we are capable of and what it takes to beat a top 20 team.”
Cornell is undefeated at home and improved to 3-2-1 on the season. Penn State fell to 7-3 and has yet to win a game on the road this fall.
Archived article by Donald Lee