After coming off of one of its best performances of the season last Saturday, the Red (1-11-1, 0-4-1 Ivy) is hoping to build on its momentum this evening, traveling to Oneonta, N.Y. to take on No. 18 Hartwick (11-2-3, 3-0-0 Atlantic Soccer Conference).
The Red earned a hard-fought 1-1 tie over the weekend against Ivy rival Princeton — almost winning its first league game after producing several quality chances towards the end of the match. While the team has found it difficult to score goals this season, Cornell garnered a game season-high 18 shots against the Tigers, with junior forward Kuda Wekwete scoring his first career goal for the Red.
The team also had a number of quality performances from players including Wekwete, sophomore forward/midfielder Brian Scruton, junior midfielder Pape Seye and senior goalkeeper David Mahoney, who stopped eight shots on the night. In addition, head coach Bryan Scales was impressed by how well his players kept their concentration and created scoring chances.
But, what Scales noticed and was especially enthusiastic about was his team”s strong willingness to compete.
‘To win these games, whether they”re Ivy League or out of league games, you have to, in any sport, put in a tremendous amount of energy, enthusiasm; you have to work extremely hard to get a good result out of any game,’ Scales said. ‘They deserve full credit for showing up and competing as hard as they did and getting a result from that game. We felt we should”ve won the game but at this stage, they put everything they could into it.’
Scales, who said that the Princeton game was a confidence builder for his team, also mentioned that the Red would need to be sharp against Hartwick — a team shooting for a spot in the national tournament.
Hartwick boasts a variety of talented players, including leading scorer Edwin Ruiz. This season, the senior forward has earned 30 points off 11 goals and eight assists. In addition, Hartwick sophomore goalkeeper Josh Wagenaar boasts a stingy 0.79 goals-against average this year.
‘Hartwick will be very dangerous,’ Scales said. ‘They”re scoring lots of goals and [Hartwick head coach] Ian McIntyre has a very experienced team. They”re looking at getting into the national tournament so they”re on the verge right now. We”re going to hope to go in there, put in a good performance and get a “W”.’
Besides being the Hawks” home, Oneonta is also the site of the National Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum. Scales is familiar with the city since Hartwick is his alma mater –he graduated in 1991 after playing midfield and defense for the Hawks” team.
‘Soccer is such an important sport for Hartwick and the city of Oneonta that it”s good for our guys to go down into that environment,’ Scales said. ‘We”re going to need to make sure we have the right mentality going to that game.’
Hartwick has not lost since Oct. 1, when it was defeated 4-1 by No. 11 St. John”s. The Hawks are undefeated at home this season, holding a 4-0-2 at Elmore Field. The Red currently trails in the all-time series, 27-11-4. In the teams” last encounter at Berman Field a year ago, Hartwick won 3-1.
Archived article by Brian Tsao
Sun Senior Editor