Cornell will face an easily underestimated Orange squad today in Syracuse. Despite having a disappointing season thus far, the Orangewomen possess a number of strong players, and may prove to be an unexpected challenge for the Red.
“Syracuse has been a good team in the past,” said Cornell women’s soccer coach Berhane Andeberhan. “They are struggling this year, but I think it should be interesting.”
The Red is flying high after garnering wins in its last two games. These wins came after a disappointing 1-0 loss to Dartmouth, where the Green scored in the last three minutes of regulation to break the scoreless tie.
“[Our last win] against Brown was very satisfying for us,” Andeberhan explained. “We’ve been playing very well lately, and it certainly helped our confidence.”
New Look Squad
Much of Cornell’s recent success can be attributed to Andeberhan’s new system of play, which he implemented a few weeks ago. After recognizing that the team was taking a while to get warmed up at the beginning of its games, Andeberhan devised a strategy where the team would play a largely defensive game early and then break out offensively later.
“We’re a young team, and we’re trying to play our new system as best as possible,” Andeberhan said. “We were tending to take a while to get into our game. Now we are playing very well.”
A large part of the inconsistency that Cornell has demonstrated this season is probably due to the adjustment of the team’s freshmen. The freshmen have gotten better and better, however. The Red has come to rely on players such as Shannon Fraser and Ali Gombar, who have been key performers this year.
“Obviously I’m very pleased with the freshmen’s performances this year,” Andeberhan stated with a hint of pride.
“I hope to see all the hopes we have for them come true,” he finished.
This game against Syracuse will be the Red’s penultimate performance in a season where the Red improved in practically every facet of its game. Cornell’s season will close against Princeton on Saturday.
Archived article by Michael Pandolfini