The Cornell men’s soccer team (5-8-1, 2-3-1 Ivy) will face one of its toughest challenges of the season when it returns home to battle No. 15 Hartwick (14-2-1) tonight at 7 p.m. The Hawks are having arguably their best season in a decade, after finishing 16-4-2 in 1993.
“We know that Hartwick is a good team,” said head coach Bryan Scales, who graduated from Hartwick in 1991. “We’ve played a bunch of good teams this year. We just have to keep going about our business.”
The Red will have its hands full with the Hawks, however. In contrast to the Red’s recent five-game losing streak, Hartwick has had five straight wins. The Hawks will also benefit from the added incentive of the possibility for the team’s first at-large bid to the NCAA tournament since 1995.
“They have a lot of team speed and they’ve scored a whole bunch of goals,” explained Scales. “This is a must win situation for them.”
Tonight, the Red will look to become the same team it was a little over a month ago when Cornell went unbeaten in five straight matches. Cornell has simply struggled to score goals, and this in turn has put added pressure on the defense and junior goalie David Mahoney.
“We’ve been unlucky not to score some goals,” said Scales, “but you make your own luck.”
The Red will have to produce some luck tomorrow, as the Hawks have several very good players on their side.
“They have a couple of front-runners that I think are very dangerous,” said Scales, who then named Hartwick forwards Greg Victor and Edwin Ruiz as players to watch out for.
The Red’s losing streak has put it out of contention for the Ivy crown, as well as the NCAA postseason. Despite this, the team will continue to play hard, as it attempts to preserve its pride coming out of this season.
“We should feel no pressure,” said Scales. “I’m expecting my guys to get out there and compete [tonight].
“They owe that to themselves and they owe that to their teammates,” he finished.
Archived article by Michael Pandolfini