October 6, 2003

Lynch's Header Guides Red To First Ivy League Victory

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After a disappointing 1-3-0 start, the Cornell men’s soccer team (4-3-0, 1-0-0 Ivy) has had nothing short of an unbelievable turnaround in the past three weeks. This Saturday, the Red garnered its third-straight 1-0 shutout victory against the defending Ivy League champion Penn Quakers (2-3-2, 0-1-0).

“It’s just a great result for us,” said head coach Bryan Scales. “The guys are pleased and they should be.”

The Ivy League teams have historically been very closely matched, and it seems that Penn and Cornell are no exceptions to the rule. After junior forward Peter Lynch scored on a header off of senior Ian Pilarski’s corner kick in the 11th minute, neither team was able to score again.

“Peter’s goal was a good goal off of Ian Pilarski’s corner kick,” said Scales. “Penn was putting a lot of pressure on us, but the guys hung tight.”

Cornell’s defense once again performed outstandingly and did not falter against Penn’s repeated offensive assaults. Penn registered eight shots in the match to the Red’s three.

“[Senior] Evan Weiner, [junior] Peter Lynch, [freshman] Ryan Imamura, and [junior] Sean Mendy made a bunch of really important tackles and broke up a lot of plays in the back,” explained Scales.

Of course, one cannot ignore the fact that this game was junior goalkeeper David Mahoney’s third straight shutout. Mahoney made three saves against the Quakers. After a bit of confusion over who would be in goal for the Red at the beginning of the season, Mahoney has shown that he is without a doubt the man for the job.

“I thought our defense played well,” said Scales, “and David Mahoney was very good.”

Surprisingly, this was the Red’s first road win since its Oct. 7, 2000 game against the Harvard Crimson. The Red did not enter this game playing any differently than it has been, however. Sticking to Scales’ strategy of “making them deal with what we do” has been very effective over the last several matches.

“In these conference games, it’s always tough, and especially tough on the road,” said Scales. “We were fortunate that we came out aggressive right from the start and got the first goal, and the burden was on them to try to equalize.”

This match against Penn marked the first of a series of three games against Ivy League squads. This failed to faze the Red at all; Cornell has simply continued to be on fire.

“[Cornell’s] got a little bit of momentum now,” explained Scales. “They know that each one of these Ivy League games is a real test.”

The Red will continue its Ivy League play against Harvard at home this Saturday at 7 p.m. The Red tied Harvard last year 2-2 in its only match-up.

Archived article by Michael Pandolfini