November 16, 2001

Men's Soccer Hopes for an NCAA Bid

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It’s all come down to this. The No. 21 men’s soccer team (8-4-3 overall, 1-3-3 Ivy) hosts Binghamton (2-16-0, 0-6-0 Atlantic Soccer Conference) tomorrow on Berman Field at 4 p.m.

This contest has many distinguishing marks that separate it from most of the games played thus far, but two things make it special.

First, it is the last home game of the season and the last home game for the five seniors on the team. This Senior Day game will feature a ceremony prior to the start of the game to acknowledge all of the hard work that these five players have put in over the course of their careers at Cornell.

Second, it is a game that holds the fate of the Red’s NCAA tournament bid. A win will likely propel the team into the 48-team bracket. The selection committee will finalize and release the draw on Monday.

“We have been hoping that this game would mean what it will mean,” said head coach Bryan Scales. And this game will carry the significance that the Red has desired.

While all of this is good for the Red, the Bearcats will look to play the role of spoiler. That is the role that they have been relegated to after the tough season they have had. Binghamton has struggled all season and would be more than happy to bring someone down with them.

In their last game, Binghamton dropped a 3-0 decision at home against Colgate back on Wednesday Nov. 14th. It has not been able to win on the road either as it comes to Ithaca with a 1-8-0 road record.

On the other hand, Cornell twice found the net in its last game against Hartwick in a 2-0 triumph. Junior captain and back Liam Hoban and freshman forward Steven Reuter each scored, while junior goalkeeper Doug Allan picked up his fifth shutout on the season.

The Red is riding a three game winning streak, its longest of the season, and is undefeated in its past five contests. The Hartwick win last Tuesday improved its home record to 6-1-1 on the campaign.

Several players are coming in on this game surfing on hot streaks.

Senior forward Ted Papadopoulos is this week’s Cornell representative, on what is becoming a weekly habit of placing a Cornellian on the All-Ivy Honor Roll players of the week team. Papadopoulos amassed this honor by scoring key goals against Columbia and Syracuse.

If there is one game to go to this season, this is it. Not only is it Senior Day, but it is also has a NCAA tournament bid resting on its outcome.

“This is the biggest game since 1996 when we won the last game of the season that year to clinch an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament,” said Scales, “It is our ‘championship’ game.”

Archived article by Donald Lee