Fall break was more of the same old story the men’s soccer team, as the Red fell, 4-0. to Harvard on Saturday. The Red dropped to 1-8-0 on the season, including a 0-2-0 Ivy mark, while the Crimson evened its record at 5-5-0, and 1-1-0 in Ivy play.
Cornell came out flat in the first half, playing with the inconsistency that has characterized much of the first half of its season.
“I didn’t think that we, especially in the first half, started with the same energy level and the same enthusiasm that we showed against Penn on alumni weekend,” said head coach Bryan Scales. “Against a team like Harvard, that puts you in a difficult situation because you’re now on your back foot for a good portion of the game.”
Harvard broke through the Red’s defense in the 27th minute. Crimson junior Anthony Tornaritis won the ball at midfield and dribbled downfield, beating the Cornell defense.
Reaching the top of the box, Tornaritis fired a shot that deflected off a Red defender into the corner for a goal. Cornell recovered, however, to hold the score to only 1-0 at the half.
The Red came out in the second half like a new team with a mentality and intensity resembling that of the Penn match.
“We had a good 10-minute stretch where we were really on top of them,” Scales said. “We were getting chances, we pushed up, we didn’t give them any space, but we just couldn’t apply that killer final blow that would get you back in the game.”
Instead, Harvard went up 2-0 in the 53rd minute when a failed clearance left the Crimson freshman Michael Fucito open to nail home his second goal of the year. Fucito, who also had an assist on the game, was named the Ivy Rookie of the Week for his performance.
Four minutes later, Harvard scored its third goal of the game when senior goalkeeper David Mahoney tried to intercept a cross from Fucito. Mahoney missed the cross and the ball bounced off a Cornell defender into the net. The goal was credited to Nicolas Tornaritis, Anthony’s twin brother.
The Crimson’s final goal came in the 66th minute when sophomore Matt Hoff fed a ball to classmate Charles Altchek, who beat Mahoney one-on-one.
Mahoney had five saves on the night, but continues to be bothered by an injured shoulder. Junior Nick Leonard led the Red with four shots on the night. Leonard and Mahoney are two of several Red players who have struggled to play with injuries throughout the season.
“David’s shoulder is not going to be fixed. [Leonard’s] back is not going to get better. Guys have all these injuries which are just not going to go away so we have to find a way to compete regardless of that,” Scales said. “When the game starts you tune that stuff out and you find a way to get it done.”
The Red’s attention now turns to next weekend’s homecoming game against Yale. The Bulldog’s beat Harvard 1-0 two weekends ago.
“There’s nothing you can do about history now,” Scales said. “We’ve only had two Ivy League games and we’ve just got to make sure we’re ready to go on Saturday night.”
Archived article by Paul Testa
Sun Staff Writer