October 8, 2004

Men Soccer Prepares To Battle Harvard

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Men’s soccer head coach Bryan Scales opted for the large cup of coffee yesterday morning, as Scales has more than a few things on his mind this October.

“Not only do I have to worry about Andrew George’s ankle, but I have to worry about Pedro’s pitch count at night, so it never really stops,” Scales said. “There’s no rest for the weary, that’s why it’s a big cup of coffee today.”

Scales, a native of Massachusetts, will be close to his beloved Bo-Sox this weekend, as the men’s soccer team (1-7-0, 0-1-0 Ivy), travels to Harvard (4-5-1, 0-1-0 Ivy) for each team’s second Ivy League match of the year.

The Ivy League soccer season has more similarities to a baseball playoff series than just their coinciding calendar dates. Losing one game in either of these cases, is not the end of the world. Go down 0-2 and suddenly the rest of a team’s season or playoff chances start to look bleak. Both the Red and Crimson, 0-1 in the Ivy League, are very aware that their Ivy League season has about as much room for losses as the Red Sox have World Series wins in the last 86 years.

“It’s a very important game for both teams,” Scales said. “[Harvard’s] the most talented team in the league. They always have acquired some of the top guys in the country. I think that they’re more often than not favored, or at least have the talent to win the Ivy League.”

In particular, Scales focused on a pair of Harvard sophomores — Matt Hoff, and Charles Altchek — as players for Cornell to watch. Both are among top scorers for Harvard this year and Hoff leads the team in shots.

Harvard has lost three of its last four games and is coming off a tough 1-0 loss to Yale last weekend. Despite struggling so far this season, Cornell has had success at Cambridge. The Red has not lost at Harvard’s Ohiri Field since 1998.

“We do very well in Cambridge. We enjoy playing against Harvard, and it’s good rivalry,” Scales said.

The Red will be aided by the likely return of junior midfielder Andrew George, who Scales said was day-to-day and should play this weekend.

Cornell is coming off a frustrating 2-0 loss to Penn last weekend. Despite playing its most consistent 90 minutes of soccer all season, the Red could not find a way convert chances into goals. Although disappointed with the loss, Scales hopes his players can recreate the intensity they brought to the Penn game tomorrow against Harvard.

“It’s an Ivy League game obviously it’s going to be very tight, but I feel very good about the group going to Boston this weekend,” Scales said. “If we put in the same type of performance that we did Saturday against Penn and the same type of energy then good things can happen to us.”

Archived article by Paul Testa
Sun Staff Writer