October 28, 2003
Women's Soccer Diary: Part I
| October 28, 2003
Though we like to boast about our trip, we have come to realize that not everyone else was all that excited to hear that we, the pretty girls of the Cornell women’s soccer team, spent a glorious four days in beautiful Hawaii. These people were namely the jealous, disgruntled Cornell students who were left to weather the mainland shrapnel of Hurricane Isabel or the men’s soccer team who traveled to the farm country of Peoria, Illinois (my homeland) the same weekend we were in beautiful Oahu. However, some excited members of the media thought it would be great for us to come back and recount the tales of the island paradise. And thus I am more than happy to narrate the 2003 Women’s soccer trip to Hawaii.
Wednesday, Sept. 19th:
We’ve been saying it all week long and it never seems to get old
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October 29, 2003
For the third game in a row, the men’s soccer could not find the back of the net, as it dropped a 1-0 contest to Oneonta (8-2-5) last night at Berman Field. The well-rested Red Dragons received a great goal from its leading scorer Jme Amoako, which was enough for the win. The Red (5-6-1, 2-1-1 Ivy) dictated play for most of the game, but was unable to finish in the offensive zone. “The soccer gods don’t go with you sometimes, this is how it went it today. We played well enough to win, but we didn’t win, and that’s how this sport goes sometimes,” said assistant coach Rob Elliot ’97. The Red wasted no time setting up in the offensive zone, as a header from senior Ian Pilarski’s free kick was stopped by Oneonta keeper Jack Potter. On the other end, junior goalie David Mahoney was tested early, as he covered up an Oneonta shot that dribbled along the goal line in the sixth minute. In the 34th minute, Pilarski came in on a breakaway on the right side, after receiving a great lob from junior Scott Palguta just behind the center line. Pilarski launched a high shot that just arced over the top of the left post. A little over a minute later, Amoako received the ball on the right side about 20 yards out from Luke Kitchen. He then feinted before launching a shot that hit the top left corner of the net for his eighth goal of the season. “The kid scored a great goal, you have to leave it at that sometimes. He made a great play and scored a great goal, and that was the difference tonight,” remarked Elliot. Wasting little time at the start of the second half, the Red won a corner in the opening minute. It would be the first of six corners in the half for Cornell. In the 50th minute, freshman Nick Leonard tapped a cross from the right side just wide of the left post. The Red had plenty of chances in Oneonta’s end but could not capitalize on its possession advantage. With time winding down, the Red pushed forward to pressure the Oneonta defense. However, this enabled the Oneonta forwards to break through into the Cornell zone. In the 73rd minute, Amoako streaked into the box, but Palguta did a good job of defending, and Amoako could only get away a hard-angled shot. Usually in the midfield, Palguta played back for most of the game. “He’s a defender by trade and we put him in the midfield just to help us out there, but tonight we put him back there because we needed guys with good feet who could make plays from back there, and I think he did a good job,” said Elliot. After drawing a foul in the 75th minute, Pilarski took the ensuing free kick from outside the top left corner of the box. He sent the ball through the Oneonta wall, but Potter came up with the save. Throughout the second half, Potter came far out of the goal to cover the ball. This prevented the Red from getting good looks at the net. Amoako would come in on a breakaway with eight minutes to go, but Mahoney came up with the huge save. He finished with eight saves on the night. Oneonta held the advantage in shot with 13 to the Red’s 10, but Cornell won 10 corners, while the Red Dragons only had two. With only a two-day turnaround until its next game, the Red must put this game behind it before heading into an important Ivy matchup against Princeton on Friday night. Despite the three-game losing skid, there will be no drastic changes during practice. “You train hard, you try to make yourself better everyday you come to training and every game you play, and that’s the bottom line. We don’t change things around, we don’t do things differently,” said Elliot. “We know about the other teams, we might think a little bit differently, but you don’t change your mentality, you just try to make it better everyday.”Archived article by Jonathan Auerbach
October 29, 2003
Earlier this year, my male apartmentmates and I found a common bonding experience. Every Tuesday night, we sit down and watch Playmakers, the dramatic series about a fictitious football team shown on ESPN. Now we’ve taken some flak from our female apartmentmate. She snickers at us when she walks by, calling the show a “male soap,” but she’s wrong. While at times tacky and tasteless, the show also has a darker side. It examines the problems not only showcased by professional sports, but also those in our society today. I’ll admit, it’s hard to believe that one team could be so messed up. For those of you who haven’t seen the show, the running back is hooked on crack, another player beats his wife, a member of the secondary has violence issues with his father, and the coach has prostate cancer. I don’t think there’s ever been a collection of this much train wreckage. Not unless Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Ray Lewis, Steve Spurrier and Darryl Strawberry all join the same franchise will any NFL team ever have all of these problems. At times, the drama is too outlandish. But not last night. Last night the show tackled a serious issue that has been floating around in its storyline for weeks. Last night, the show took on intolerance and bigotry. It comes down to this (and you might want to stop reading in case you have yet to watch last night’s episode): the wide receiver is gay, and the secondary unit is homophobic. On top of that, the team’s owner has an image obsession and feels that a gay player on the team will hurt ticket sales (Thus confirming my suspicion that the team is located in the southern mid-west, like St. Louis, but I digress …). In the end, the player is coerced into making a decision, one that eventually ends his season. In terms of dramatic high points, it just doesn’t get any better. It appears life does. A few seasons ago, Mike Piazza came out as the first openly straight baseball player. Being slammed by rumors in the press, the Mets’ catcher went public with his heterosexuality. Kudos to you Mr. Piazza, you showcased the insecurities of American males everywhere. Much applause to ESPN for examining such a weighty subject matter, then. Sure, it’s okay to see homosexuals on NBC’s Will and Grace, and almost everyone I know loves Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, but those are mainstream programs all aimed at getting Mr. and Mrs. Joe Consumer in front of the television together (let’s face it, when it’s him versus her, she always wins control of the remote). Last night, the sports network showcased American insecurities again, only this time it wasn’t during a Piazza press conference. This amazed me because it was ESPN, the all male, all testosterone, all the time network. Last night’s episode played to the same audience that gets all worked up every February over the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. These are the same men who sit on the couch for Sunday football games with chips, salsa and beer, and scratch themselves during timeouts and commercial breaks. And ESPN thought that they, that we — I include myself in the above category, with the exception of the scratching thing — could handle it. At the end of last night’s episode, bigotry and intolerance may have played the winning card in TV land, but hopefully not in life. Sports have always played a part in bringing about equality. Title IX gave women a chance not just to compete on collegiate playing fields, but to also attend college — something most had never dreamed of before. Jackie Robinson proved that differently-skinned baseball players could contribute, paving the way for countless blacks, Hispanics and Asians to come, not just in baseball but in other walks of life. Now it appears that American sports culture has done it again, through ESPN’s portrayal of a prominent and timely issue. Last night, bigotry and injustice may have won out in TV land, but all across America it was struck down. Thanks for being a leader, ESPN, and thanks for shows like Playmakers.Archived article by Matt Janiga