The men’s soccer team (0-1-1, 0-0 Ivy) returned to Ithaca Sunday evening without a win, but in facing two top 25 teams to open its season, made a statement that it will be able to compete with the nation’s most elite program. On the strength of a standout effort from stalwart senior goalie Doug Allan, Cornell earned a 1-1 tie with No. 5 Notre Dame before falling to upstart Bradley 3-0.
Head coach Bryan Scales touted the ability of his small, but versatile senior class which buoyed the Red to near victory last Friday evening against the Irish. Facing a swarming Notre Dame defense, offensive chances were scant for the Red. However, it was senior Kevin London who was able to capitalize for Cornell, scoring just over seven minutes into the second half.
Despite a brilliant effort by Allan, Notre Dame was able to net the equalizer ten minutes after London’s tally, with Justin Detter scoring on a pass courtesy of Devin Prescord.
Scales was pleased with the outcome.
“The guys played really well and had a lot of energy in their game,” he said. “We would have loved to have won and felt we could have won. But against a great team, it was a good result.”
Allan garnered countless superlatives from the coaching staff after a stellar campaign last season. It appears that the phenom has picked up where he left off. The Red was outshot 20-9 by the Irish, but Allan recorded seven crucial saves to keep Cornell close.
“Doug was superman on Friday night. He really saved us on a couple of occasions when we were under pressure,” Scales lauded. “He made some terrific saves on some really difficult shots. He was the goalkeeper that we saw all last year.”
Sunday’s 3-0 score was deceptive as the Braves tallied twice in the final ten minutes after drawing first blood twenty minutes into the contest. Cody Kather beat Allan after collecting a rebound from a Deron Swaby shot.
“We were flat, and after an emotional game Friday night after the overtime game, we were very sloppy with all the details Sunday, and ultimately that is my responsibility,” Scales said.
Cornell mounted a comeback effort and sought to move its defense forward in the closing moments of the second half. However, it was the Braves who got the best of the Red’s strategy, registering two goals to seal the victory. Bradley improved its mark to 4-0-2 on the year.
Although his team managed to score just once this weekend, Scales’ confidence in the team’s scoring capabilities has not been diminished.
“I’m not concerned about scoring one goal for the weekend. The opportunities were there. We just didn’t put it away,” he said. “The important thing for us, as a group is that we defend very well, that you get your attacking connections and defensive connections as you play those games and guys get used to different parts of the field.”
Cornell will have a chance to secure its first win of the season when it kicks off its home campaign at Berman Field, hosting regional foe St. Bonaventure tomorrow evening at 7 p.m.
Archived article by Gary Schueller