The men’s soccer team battled to a 0-0 tie in double overtime against Loyola yesterday afternoon at Berman Field. The Red (3-3-2, 0-2-0 Ivy) demonstrated a much more cohesive style of play than in its previous two games and controlled the pace of play for long stretches of time. Loyola’s record now stands at 4-4-1.
“I’m frustrated for the guys that they couldn’t score a goal,” said head coach Bryan Scales, “but the performance I thought was really good. In the back we were really solid, we had the ball almost the whole game.”
Cornell’s defense was stellar, turning away every Greyhound offensive attempt. The Red also controlled play at midfield.
The only problem, it seemed, was putting the ball in the goal. The Red had a plethora of good scoring opportunities, all of which were turned aside by an equally stingy Loyola defense.
In the 12th minute, sophomore Steve Reuter set up an open shot on goal for senior Liam Hoban, who drove the ball just wide of the goal. Three minutes later, a tracer off the foot of junior Kaj Hackinen was deflected away by Loyola’s Niall Lepper. Several Red shots on goal were saved by Greyhounds goalkeeper Reb Beatty.
“We’re just in one of those stretches now where the soccer gods aren’t smiling on us to score goals,” said Scales. “We just have to keep trying to do the little things to get into the box and score.”
Senior goalkeeper Doug Allan had a spectacular game in his own right, recording five saves, including an impressive leaping save in the 18th minute and a clutch save on a shot from point blank in the 70th minute.
Allan was aided by what might have been Cornell’s finest defensive effort of the season. The backfield of Hoban, juniors Matt Blumenstyk and Evan Weiner, and freshman Brian Pink made play after play, turning away just about every threat Loyola had to offer.
“I think the men of the match for us were Brian Pink and Liam Hoban,” said Scales. “Both of those two guys [in] central defense. Some of the reserve guys came in and did a really good job, [junior] Artie Solis, [sophomore] Peter Lynch, and [freshman] Wyatt Nelson. Everybody battled and fought, and we can’t ask for anything more.”
With just over eight minutes remaining in regulation, the Red was unable to convert on its best scoring chance to that point, as a header by Reuter from five feet out was punched away by Beatty.
Lynch also just missed on two good scoring chances within about a minute of each other in the second overtime period. With about 6:30 remaining, Lynch’s header off a corner kick by junior Ian Pilarski went just wide of the goal. A minute later, another header by Lynch hit the post and bounded back to the Loyola defense.
“You just shake your head,” Scales said about Lynch’s missed headers. “There’s nothing you can do. At some point during the season, that header will hit the post and go in for us. Right now we have to just make our own luck and just keep working at it.”
The Red will hope to begin the process of luck production when it travels to Harvard Saturday in an important Ivy match.
Archived article by Owen Bochner