Despite controlling the play for much of the second half, the Cornell men’s soccer team (5-9-1, 2-3-1 Ivy) fell, 3-1, to the No. 15 Hartwick Hawks (15-2-1) last night. The Hawks showed their offensive strength and speed early on, producing heavy offensive pressure that eventually resulted in a first half goal. Hartwick would score two more in the second half. The Red was able to get one back late in the game, but the score would prove to be too little, too late.
“[The Hawks] have very good team speed,” explained head coach Bryan Scales. “They close spaces down very quickly, and anytime you give the ball away, they’re right there to get it.”
Hartwick’s speed on offense was problematic for the Red, and led to several penalties, one of which resulted in the first goal of the match. After a dubious call on the left sideline, Hartwick forward Edwin Ruiz got a free kick over to forward Josh Herrera for the score.
“The ref thought it was a foul, [and] I didn’t think it was, but that happens all the time in soccer games,” said Scales.
Cornell seemed largely outmatched in the first half and failed to register a single shot on goal. However, thanks in a large part to junior goaltender David Mahoney, the Red was only down 1-0 at halftime.
“David made some big-time saves in the first half to keep us in it,” said Scales.
Despite Mahoney’s strong play in the first half, however, the goaltender then proceeded to give up two goals at the beginning of the second period of play. Mahoney was caught out of position on the second goal of the night, when Hartwick superstar Greg Victor snuck a ball through from the right side of the box at 47:09. Four minutes later, Mahoney gave up another goal when Hartwick forward Kenny Rodriguez garnered his first of the season from 25 yards out.
At this point, Scales replaced Mahoney with backup goalie Peter Francis, who would not give up another goal the rest of the night.
“David’s been outstanding for us all year, so he’ll get over it,” said Scales. “I thought Pete was great when he came in. He’s kept a terrific attitude all season.”
Soon after the third goal was scored, Cornell finally seemed to find its rhythm. After pressing hard and missing on several chances, the Red finally hit the back of the net, when senior forward Evan Wiener got his own rebound in close and nabbed his second of the season at 79:09.
“When you’re down 3-0, you’re taking risks to try and score a goal,” said Scales. “It was good to see us get one.”
Unfortunately for Cornell, this would not be enough. Cornell had several more chances in the game, but failed to convert. The Red has just one match remaining and one chance to end a six-game losing slide.
Archived article by Michael Pandolfini