The men’s soccer team looks to turn things around tonight, as it faces a crucial test against Oneonta State (7-2-5) at 7 p.m. on the pitch of Berman Field. After putting together a 4-0-1 unbeaten streak, the Red (5-5-1, 2-1-1 Ivy) has dropped its last two contests, including its first conference loss of the season against No. 14 Brown on Saturday.
“We just need to put the game behind us now,” said junior Scott Palguta of the Brown game. “It was a big game that we lost, and it stung for a couple days, but it’s time to move on and start focusing on Oneonta.”
In the battle of the two remaining unbeaten Ivy teams, Brown was able to capitalize on its scoring chances, as Adom Crew put a cross from the left side into the Cornell net in the 27th minute. The Red had some good scoring chances in the first half, but was unable to capitalize.
The Bears put the game away on a defensive mistake by Cornell in the 69th minute. Seth Quidachay-Swan took advantage of a misplayed back pass to junior goalie David Mahoney, and tapped the ball into the open net.
“I thought we played one of our better games of the season against Brown. We possessed the ball well and threatened them much more than they threatened us,” remarked Palguta. ” There were some terrific individual performances. However, two breakdowns and the inability to finish our chances is why Brown was able to beat us.”
The Red will face a well-rested Oneonta squad, as the Red Dragons have not played a game in 10 days. Cornell on the other hand is playing its third game in under a week, but looks to take advantage of Oneonta’s rustiness.
“I don’t think fatigue will play a factor even though it will be our third game in a week. Our core group of players are upperclassman, and they realize we are in a do or die situation now,” said Palguta. “We are all mentally and physically capable of getting past the fatigue. We have to be.”
Oneonta has tied four of its last five games, most recently playing to a scoreless tie against No. 20 Hartwick on the 18th. The Red Dragons come into tonight’s contest with an eight-game unbeaten streak, having not lost since September 14.
Up top for Oneonta is junior Jme Amoako, who has seven goals on the season. A Regional All-America first team pick his freshmen season, Amoako had a disappointing sophomore campaign, scoring just one goal in 18 contests. He has regained his freshmen form this year, and leads the team in game-winning goals with three.
In goal, senior Jack Potter has recorded a minuscule 0.46 goals against average, and has started in 48 of Oneonta’s 50 games over the past three seasons. He was recently named Atlantic Soccer Conference Goaltender of the Week, after picking up his seventh shutout of the season.
The Red has had a “one-game-at-a-time” attitude since the beginning of the season, and it is taking that firmly into tonight’s game.
“The season is by no means over, as we still have a chance to make the NCAA tourney, and even a shot at the Ivies if Brown gets picked off and we win out. The team firmly believes that we can string together five wins in a row,” said Palguta. “Oneonta St. is the only thing on our minds until we get past them.”
The Red has three more Ivy foes on the schedule, and will travel to Princeton on Friday for a 7:30 p.m. tilt.
Archived article by Jonathan Auerbach