After splitting a pair of matches last Friday and Sunday, the men’s soccer team (1-1-0, 0-0-0 Ivy) will not have it any easier this weekend when it faces Coastal Carolina University (3-1-0) and Florida Atlantic University (2-2-0) in the Bradley Classic. The booters had some lapses on defense last weekend, giving up three goals in their loss to Loyola and allowing a bad goal early on to St. Bonaventure.
However, when asked if his team was going to go into more of a defensive mode for these two tough games, head coach Bryan Scales responded, “We’re not doing anything different this weekend. We’re not sitting back.”
Cornell has its work cut out for it. Coastal Carolina is ranked 21st in the NSCAA/Adidas Top 25, 17th in the Soccertimes.com Top 25 College Coaches’ Poll, and 22nd in the Soccer News Top 30 poll. The Chanticleers have only given up an average of one goal per game this season.
On the upside for Cornell, Coastal has not won a match since Sept. 6, after losing to Richmond last weekend in the UR/Nike Challenge, 2-1, and then having its next game against Duquesne rained out. Regardless, the Chanticleers will still be the tougher squad to beat this weekend.
“Coastal Carolina has two forwards who are very fast and very technical,” explained Scales. “[Senior forward] Joseph Nguenya had 63 points last season, and he’s going to have to be dealt with.”
As for tomorrow’s game, Florida Atlantic is also a very tough team with lots of experience. FAU also has a high-octane offense that is currently averaging three goals per game. FAU lost 3-2 to Coastal Carolina earlier this season, but this does not mean that the Owls will be much easier to beat. The Owls have two serious threats in forwards Kristoffer Aarskog and Bjorn Totland.
“To be honest, we’ll think about Florida Atlantic after our game on Friday, but they are a very dangerous team that has a lot of foreign guys and a lot of experience,” said Scales.
The Red is going to have to avoid the little mistakes it made last weekend if it is going to take either of these matches. However, Scales stressed that the most important thing is that Cornell’s players just play their game.
“We made some mistakes [last weekend] because of fatigue,” said Scales. “Hopefully, as we play more games, these mistakes will take care of themselves.”
The Red will kick off against Coastal Carolina in Peoria, Ill. at 5:00 p.m. today. The match against Florida Atlantic will be at the same time tomorrow.
Archived article by Michael Pandolfini