Following its worst loss in recent memory, the men’s soccer team (4-7-3, 1-4-1 Ivy) returns to action tonight with a non-conference game against in-state rival Hartwick (9-7-2, 4-1-0 ASC) in Oneonta. The Red will be looking to regain some pride as it wraps up the season this weekend.
“We expect it to be a good, close game,” said head coach Bryan Scales, a Hartwick alum who will be making a bit of a homecoming tonight. “They’re going to come out and put everything they’ve got into it and we’ll do the same.”
The Hawks conclude their regular season tonight, finishing off a strong season, in which they will finish second in the American Soccer Conference behind Florida International.
Hartwick and Cornell had four common opponents during 2002, Adelphi, Colgate, Princeton and Syracuse. The Red went 3-1 against these foes while Hartwick posted a 2-1-1 record, with both squads falling to Syracuse. The Hawks also defeated intra-city rival Oneonta, whose game against the Red last week was canceled due to rain.
In past years, Cornell has enjoyed success against the Hawks, winning 2-0 last year on Berman Field. That win came as part of a four-game winning streak at the end of the season that nearly pushed the Red into the NCAA Tournament.
After Saturday’s loss to Dartmouth, the booters spent the following two days of practice trying to put the loss behind them and directing their attention to the two games remaining in the season.
“The guys are focused on the next game,” said Scales. “They have put Saturday’s result behind them.”
Cornell should benefit from a return to its usual lineup tonight. Due to the fact that Saturday was Senior Night, forwards Steve Reuter and Andrew George did not start. They will return to the lineup tonight, as will junior goalkeeper Nate Dunlap, who continues his development this season.
Hartwick boasts a powerful attack led by junior midfielder Rob Cantana, senior midfielder Neil McLean, and junior forward Greg Victor. In addition, senior goalkeeper Randall Moate boasts a 1.37 GAA and has recorded six shutouts on the season. The Hawks are a smaller team than many of the Red’s opponents thus far this year, which could prove to be an important advantage in air battles.
Scales, however, is more concerned with getting his squad back on the positive side of the boxscore.
“I’m not so concerned with the other group right now,” he said. “I just want to get our guys back into it.”
The Red finishes its 2002 slate on Saturday when it travels to New York City for its Ivy finale against Columbia.
Archived article by Owen Bochner