With its Ivy League title hopes on the line, the men’s soccer team travels to New Jersey to take on Princeton at Lourie-Love Field for a 7:30 p.m. contest tonight. The Red (5-6-1, 2-1-1 Ivy) has had trouble finding the back of the net recently, having been shut out in its last three games, while the Tigers (4-6-3, 1-2-1 Ivy) scored their first goal in four games against Rutgers on Tuesday.
“The guys will have a positive attitude coming into the Princeton game. We lost another game that we should have won on Tuesday, but I think everyone still realizes that we still have something to play for,” said junior Scott Palguta. “Everyone is gunning for Brown now, so you never know what will happen in the league standings. Our fate isn’t in our hands anymore, but we still need to do our part by winning the remainder of our Ivy games.”
No. 11 Brown is in sole possession of first place in the league, after defeating the Red, 2-0, last Saturday, while Cornell is tied for third with No. 23 Columbia.
Despite controlling the play for most of the game against Oneonta on Tuesday, the booters were unable to answer the Red Dragons’ goal, scored by Jme Amoako from 20 yards out in the 36th minute. Junior goalie David Mahoney stopped eight shots on the night, including one on a breakaway by Amoako late in the game.
“We’ve put ourselves in the position to score goals, we just haven’t converted. I think we need to take more chances and play with more creativity in the attacking third of the field. That’s not the place to play safe,” remarked Palguta. “You need to take chances, put the other team under pressure, and force them to make mistakes. Sometimes we play like we’re afraid to do that.”
Against Rutgers, senior Gianfranco Tripicchio scored the equalizer in the closing minutes of the first half, shortly after Rutgers head coach Bob Reasso was ejected from the game after arguing a foul. The Scarlet Knights tacked on two second-half goals to hand Princeton its fourth loss in five games. The Tigers have not won since Oct. 8.
Last year, the Red defeated the Tigers, 1-0, on Berman Field for its only conference win of the season, and tonight’s game should also be a close one. All four of the Red’s conference games this season have been decided by two goals or less.
“There’s no one on their team that we’re going to play particular attention to. They’re a good team that’s pretty balanced in all positions. In a way, they are a lot like us. We have comparable records, and we both play well defensively but struggle to find the back of the net,” said Palguta.
On offense for Princeton, Darren Spicer and Jame Wunsch are tied for the scoring lead, with six points each. Spicer has three goals on the year, while Wunsch’s two goals have both been gamewinners. Eric White has started in goal in 11 games this season, recording a 1.35 goals against average and stopping 39 shots.
Mahoney has played well in the team’s first four Ivy games of the season, recording two shutouts and allowing only three goals. His 64 saves is tops in the league.
The Red will hit the road against next weekend for its last road game of the season against Dartmouth next Sunday. The team returns home for its final non-conference game of the season against No. 20 Hartwick, head coach Bryan Scales’ alma mater on Nov. 12, before facing Columbia on Nov. 15.
Archived article by Jonathan Auerbach