The men’s soccer team (4-3-2 overall, 0-2-2 Ivy) travels to Princeton, N.J. today to face the Tigers (5-2-4 overall, 2-1-1 Ivy). Louri-Love Field will be the site for this crucial matchup at 7:30 p.m.
The Red is still in search of its first Ivy win of the season to move them up from its current seventh place position. The previous game was tight for Cornell as it earned a 1-1 draw with a feisty Brown Bears club last Saturday in Ithaca.
Princeton has had some success this fall, knocking off Ancient Eight foes Brown and Dartmouth both by scores of 3-0. These two wins have propelled the Tigers into a tie for third place with Columbia (5-3-2 overall, 2-1-1 Ivy) in the race for the conference championship. They will need another win if they are to catch frontrunners Penn (6-3-1 overall, 2-1-0) and Harvard (8-2-0 overall, 3-0-0 1st in Ivy).
Cornell and its host has both demonstrated their respective abilities to put the ball into the net this season. The Red have put up two or more goals three times this season and put up a five spot against Adelphi earlier this year. Cornell is undefeated this season [3-0-0] when scoring two or more goals. The Tigers have put up at least two goals on six separate occasions and are 4-1-1 when doing so. Thus, defense will be the key deciding factor in this contest.
The Tigers had a tough 3-3 draw with American University in their last game down in Washington, DC.
“We’ve been playing inconsistently this season. We have to work on moving together as a defensive group and not get too spread out,” said Princeton’s head coach Jim Barlow.
While Barlow patches up his defense, the Red’s strength has been its defense all season long. Junior captain and defender Liam Hoban was tabbed on the Soccer America Team of the Week after scoring a back breaking goal against Penn State and fending off Harvard attackers two weeks ago.
Sophomore midfielder Kaj Hackinen was named to the All-Ivy honor roll this past week for his play against Oneonta. He scored the game-winning goal late in the game, which follows his modus operandi, thus far into the season as both of his goals have come in the last few minutes of play.
Princeton faces No. 7 Indiana University in the next game after the Red, so the Tigers must be sure to not look ahead to that game.
“We’re trying not to even look at the Indiana game,” said Barlow, “Nobody is looking past Cornell, they beat us last year, so we expect a good physical defensive battle.”
Archived article by Donald Lee