Freshman Scott Palguta may have claimed one of his most important goals of his career when his double overtime slam went under the arm of Syracuse’s Anthony Peters to give the Red a 2-1 victory last night at the S.U. soccer stadium.
Palguta’s goal, his second of the season, keeps alive No. 25 Cornell’s (6-4-3, 0-3-3 Ivy) slim chances of gaining a NCAA berth. Despite the team’s poor showing in Ivy play — mostly resulting from the team’s inability to score, the squad’s incredible 6-1-0 non-conference record does give it a chance.
Cornell looked like it might have the same troubles again last night, as the squad outplayed the Orangemen in what coach Bryan Scales considered one of the best halves the squad has put together all season. The Red outshot Syracuse 12-4 in the first half, forcing Peters to come up with seven first half saves.
At the end of a stong half, Cornell was still the equal of the Orangemen on the scorebard, with a pair of zeros lit up, even if they had outplayed them on the field.
All the pressure finally produced the desired result for the Red when senior Ted Papadopolous scored on a free kick from 30 yards out. In the 63rd minute, the forward launched a shot that bent into the top left corner of the goal. The goal was Papadopoulos’ sixth of the season, where he remains the only Cornell player to score more than two goals this season.
From that point on though, the Red had trouble doing what had precipitated its fine play in the first half, making passes. As the squad got sloppy in the last 25 minutes, Syracuse began to try to take advantage. The Orangemen forced junior goalkeeper Doug Allen, who had already made three first half saves, to make a number of quality saves.
“Doug Allen had a great game tonight and made a number of incredible saves for us,” said Scales.
Also important was that the Red defense stepped up to help stop the Orangemen from grabbing the tie or even the lead.
Syracuse did manage to tie the game at one howeever, on a free kick in the 84th minute. Midfielder John Andrade lofted a freekick into the box that Kirk Johnson was able to head into the back of the net past a helpless Allen. It was Johnson’s 13th goal of the season in only his sophomore year.
The Red entered overtime relying on solid play from Allen and its defense, but would need some offense to gain its first win in overtime this season. In the second overtime, a tactical move by Scales payed dividends.
“[Palguta] was playing back for us, but we moved him up front to try to generate some chances,” the coach said.
He generated more than chances, taking an Ian Pilarski pass from just outside the box and calmly putting it past Peters for the 2-1 golden goal victory.
While the Red gain a number of positives from the victory, one negative will be that Papadopoulos left the game after scoring with an ankle injury. His status is not yet known for Saturday’s game with Columbia, Cornell’s final Ivy match of the season.
Archived article by Charles Persons