Missed opportunities characterized the men’s soccer team’s performance on Saturday. Failing to capitalize on numerous chances in front of the net, the Red (3-4-3) dropped a physical game to Fairfield (4-5-1) 2-1.
“Overall we didn’t play great but we had a chance to win. A couple of mistakes cost us, offensively especially,” senior captain Liam Hoban explained.
The first half went back and forth, with both teams testing the other’s keeper, but not being able to capitalize.
Cornell senior Kevin London changed that with just under 10 minutes left. London brought the ball up the right side and in what looked like a faulty cross, hit freshman Andrew George. George in turn passed to sophomore Steve Reuter who took a shot to the right hand corner beating Fairfield goalkeeper Steve Burns.
However, Cornell’s lead would not last for long.
Just seven minutes into the second half senior Justin Thompson megged a Cornell defender and connected with senior Bryan Harkin who made a strong cut straight down the middle of the box. Harkin grabbed the ball and sent it to the back of the net past Cornell keeper, senior Doug Allan.
The second Fairfield goal came at 65:23 when freshman Joseph DosSantos made a cross to the center of the Cornell box. Thompson added to his assist, by heading the ball just past Allan into the left-hand corner of the net.
“I’m disappointed. There was a stretch where we just stopped playing in the beginning of the second half. We gave up another goal after halftime, which we did against Harvard, which we have done on a couple of different occasions now,” head coach Bryan Scales said of the game.
Cornell was not without its far share of chances though.
In what looked more like a scene from a comedy, Cornell set up for a free kick just outside the six-yard box with 5:48 left in regulation.
The kick came as a result of a yellow card awarded to Fairfield freshman Billy Androutsos for unsportsmanlike conduct when he took down sophomore Peter Lynch inside the box during a Cornell corner kick.
With seemingly the entire Fairfield team set up on the goal line, junior Ian Pilarski took the kick, which was redirected to freshman Pape Seye whose shot went over the top of the post.
Scales was dismayed that his team was unable to capitalize on the opportunity.
“Anytime you have a free kick inside the six-yard box you have to get something out of it,” he explained. “We hit it low and they made a good stop on it.”
Of the team’s other scoring opportunities he added, “We had a couple, probably five or six, good opportunities right down there in front of the goal, knocking the ball around. At some point in the season those things might go in, but it’s late now, this is the 11th hour, and with seven games left we can’t afford to be dropping games like this.”
It was not just the missed scoring opportunities that were the difference in the game; Fairfield was in Scales estimation “a good team” that “punished us for some mistakes today.”
Scales felt a big difference was the play of Androutsos in the midfield.
“I thought [Androutsos] in the middle was really good,” Scales explained. “He was the big difference for them. I thought we lost the midfield battle today and that kid was a big reason for it, he was a good player.”
The Red’s next game is Saturday away at Brown.
Archived article by Kristen Haunss