A momentary downpour was not enough to dampen the men’s soccer team, as it came away with a 1-0 win, defeating Colgate (1-5-3) last night at Berman Field. The Red (3-3-0) faced an onslaught by the Raiders in the closing minutes, but the Raiders were unable to convert on its scoring chances.
“I thought that it was a typical midweek game against Colgate, who made it very tough for us. I thought we were pretty good in the first half, and in the second half after we scored a pretty nice goal, we decided to turn it off,” said head coach Bryan Scales.
Returning to the starting lineup for the Red was junior forward Steve Reuter, who was hurt against Coastal Carolina a week and a half ago.
“We’re glad to have Steve back, he’s a good player and we need him at his best. He was good last Saturday, and he needs to get more games under his belt,” remarked Scales.
The booters got their first good scoring chance of the game when junior Scott Palguta got his head on a free kick from senior co-captain Ian Pilarski in the 11th minute. Senior Kaj Hackinen threaded a nice pass through the defense in the 34th minute, and Reuter headed it on net, but it was saved by Colgate goalie Doug Litvack.
The Raiders’ best scoring chance of the first half came on a free kick in the Cornell end in the 38th minute, but the ball went high over the net.
“They were good on the ball, we were getting numbers forward, we had a couple of chance, I thought we were solid in the back,” said Scales of the first half.
Junior Sean Mendy opened up the second half with a shot from the far right that just arced over the crossbar. With sheets of rain beginning to fall in the 53rd minute, Reuter took the ball up the right side of the field. He crossed into the box, where sophomore Pape Seye knocked it to the left of a diving Litvack for his first collegiate goal.
“I thought Pape was probably one of our best guys today, and he scored a good goal, deservedly so. He’s been pushing every day in practice, and he’s had three pretty good games in a row, so it’s good to see him score,” commented Scales.
Seye nearly had another goal in the 61st minute, after getting a rebound in front of the net, but Litvack was able to kick the ball away.
The Red got a little complacent in the last part of the game, and the Raiders had some excellent scoring chances. In the 75th minute, Cornell caught a break, as a Colgate shot from the top of the box went wide left.
“I thought we really could have taken some steam out of the game and gotten on top of the game if we were just a little better with our passing, and not so overanxious with our defending. We were overplaying guys and getting on the wrong side of players,” said Scales.
With six minutes left in the game, Seye sent the ball up to freshman Nick Leonard, who came up the right side of the field on a breakaway. Colgate’s Kevin Meehan sprinted from behind, and stripped the ball away before Leonard could get the shot off.
The Raiders had several scoring chances in the closing minutes. With 10 seconds left, Colgate took a corner kick to the right of the Cornell net, and Litvack sprinted down the field to try and get in on the play. Fortunately for the Red, the Raiders did not have time to set up a play, as the ball was cleared as time expired.
The Red opens its Ivy season on the road this Saturday against Penn.
“These guys now know that they can win. They have two shutouts in a row, which is big, and now the Ivy season begins, which is a whole different kettle of fish,” said Scales.
Archived article by Jonathan Auerbach