While the Red (1-11-0, 0-4-0 Ivy) is currently in the midst of a tough season, it can play spoiler tomorrow night when it hosts Ivy League rival Princeton (7-4-3, 2-1-1 Ivy).
The Red, which is coming off a 3-0 loss to No. 19 Penn State on Wednesday night, is still searching for its first league victory. While the game did not go in its favor, the Red had a few bright spots in State College, Pa. with the performances of senior goalkeeper David Mahoney and the opportunities its attack created.
“I thought the guys who came in as substitutes did a pretty good job making an impact and really giving us an energy boost [on Wednesday night],” said head coach Bryan Scales.
Princeton is coming off a 4-2 midweek victory against St. Peter’s and will hope to continue any momentum lost after its first league defeat to Harvard last Saturday. Although the result was 5-2 in favor of the Crimson, Scales said that the scoreline did not do justice in reflecting the game, as the Red will be facing a very strong side this weekend.
“We know Princeton will be very good,” Scales said. “They’re in the hunt for the Ivy League title so they’re going to be geared to try to keep it going and we’re going to try to spoil it for them.”
While the Tigers have many strong players, their star this season has been junior forward Darren Spicer. Spicer has scored a league-leading 11 goals for Princeton this season and is also at the top in points with 23. Scales said it will be a full team effort in trying to stop the striker from generating opportunities.
“You have to deny the service into him first of all,” Scales said. “If he does get the ball, we’re expecting [freshman] Kyle [Lynch] and [senior] Peter [Lynch] to really be responsible and sharp as individual defenders. But he’s a good player.”
The Red will look to start on the attack strong with players going down the flanks to create scoring opportunities. Scales said that the team has been most successful when the team changes the point of attack and hopes that wing players including seniors Steve Reuter and Sean Mendy will be able to get behind defenders.
Although there are only four more games this season, with its last non-league encounter against Hartwick on Tuesday, Scales knows that his team will continue to work hard and possibly earn its first league win.
“I think you just have to keep it nice and simple and that’s just to win the next game,” Scales said. “We didn’t win [Wednesday] night, we made some mistakes, we’re never going to play mistake-free soccer, but you only hope that the guys are excited and enthusiastic and passionate about leaving their legacy in the program, that they’ll be able to get something going. We want to win games and while the season hasn’t gone the way we wanted it to go, the only thing we can do as coaches and as players is to get up for the next game.”
Archived article by Brian Tsao
Sun Senior Editor