The men’s soccer team’s five-game unbeaten streak came to an abrupt end last night one hour north on I-81, as the Red (5-4-1, 2-0-1 Ivy) fell 4-0 to the deceptively strong Syracuse Orangemen (3-7-5, 0-4-4 Big East) last night at the Syracuse Soccer Stadium. The Orangemen play in the highly competitive Big East conference, which makes their less than impressive record somewhat misleading.
“Syracuse has lost some tough games in one of the best conferences in the country,” explained head coach Bryan Scales. “They are much, much better than their record.”
The Orangemen benefited from an extremely diverse attack last night. Syracuse junior Tony Matrone scored the first goal of the game in the 17th minute of play off of a pass from senior Kirk Johnson. Matrone would participate in all four of the Orangemen’s goals, garnering an assist on each of Syracuse’s three subsequent scores. Syracuse sophomore Jeff Evans also had an outstanding game with three assists on the night.
“They had a number of players who gave us trouble,” said Scales.
Cornell had a few bright spots. The Red managed to get eight shots in the game, and held a 6-5 advantage in corner kicks over the Orangemen.
Regardless, Syracuse had a 14-8 shot advantage in the game and kept up an unrelenting offense throughout. The Orangemen scored two goals at 37:56 and 38:39, only a 43 second span, to go up 3-0. The third Syracuse goal was freshman midfielder Richard Asante’s first collegiate score.
“Syracuse is just a very good team and they really punished us for our mistakes tonight,” explained Scales. “They outplayed us in every aspect.”
This game marked both the end of Cornell’s five game unbeaten streak and the end of Syracuse’s eight game winless streak. However, the result of this game goes far beyond just the end of the Red’s five-game run. The result of last night’s game will now force the Red to rethink its current strategy, as the team prepares for a very difficult intra-conference battle against Brown Saturday night on Berman Field.
“The bottom line is that we didn’t come to compete,” said Scales. “We’re going to have to reevaluate how we’re going to approach this weekend and make some changes if necessary.”
However, Scales and the Red do not doubt that they have the ability to get back to the form that allowed the team to go 4-0-1 over the past month.
“I would be very surprised if we weren’t able to put together one of our best performances of the season on Saturday night,” Scales said with confidence.
Scales’ assertion will be put to the test when the Red puts it’s first place status and unbeaten Ivy record on the line Saturday at 7 p.m.
Archived article by Michael Pandolfini