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