While it was senior night at Berman Field on Saturday, a sophomore from the opposing team stole the show, as the Red (1-13-1, 0-5-1 Ivy) fell, 1-0, to Dartmouth (6-3-6, 4-0-2 Ivy) in its last home game of the season.
Green sophomore Mark Limpert, who was named Ivy League Player of the Week a week ago for hitting a game-winning goal against Harvard, struck again in the second half, giving Dartmouth at least a share of the Ivy League title.
Even though the result did not go in its favor, the Red dominated for large stretches of the game and made it difficult for the league-leading Green.
“I thought we played great,” said senior midfielder/forward Steve Reuter. “I think that everyone worked as hard as they could and we played good soccer and we did it for 90 minutes. They just happened to get a pretty lucky goal and that’s the way the game goes sometimes.”
The match was physical from the get-go as both teams attempted to get a foothold on the game. Senior tri-captain goalkeeper David Mahoney was not forced to make a save in the half, as the Red won seven corner kicks during the first 45 minutes.
In the 30th minute, Cornell generated a strong scoring opportunity when junior forward Kuda Wekwete was able to get his head onto a ball played into the box. However, Wekwete’s attempt went across the face of goal and past the left post.
During the last ten minutes of the first half, the Red put three opportunities over the bar. After freshman midfielder Jarid Siegel found space on the left and blasted a shot which missed high and wide, junior midfielder Andrew George had the Red’s best chance with a shot from just inside the penalty box with over a minute left in the half. George’s shot however, was deflected by a Green player and over the crossbar. On the ensuing corner kick, senior tri-captain defender Peter Lynch had a similar opportunity, but his attempt also went high.
“I thought that our performance in the first half was very good,” said head coach Bryan Scales. “[Dartmouth] had to win this game, and we always felt if we were able to keep it tight for the first half, that they would start to get frustrated and start playing a little tighter.”
The Red’s missed opportunities would come back to haunt it seven minutes into the second half. As Dartmouth started to jockey for possession, freshman Michael Ordonez drove a ball into Cornell’s penalty box. Limpert was able to get a foot on the ball and deflected it into the left corner of Mahoney’s net.
Cornell was almost able to strike back immediately through junior midfielder Pape Seye, but his header attempt from a corner was saved by Green goalkeeper Rowan Anders. Limpert could have doubled Dartmouth’s lead in the 65th after driving past Red defenders, but his shot was saved by Mahoney.
“I thought we played well defensively,” Mahoney said. “The only thing they had were long balls going over the top … A couple of times, they got services in and one of them, they got lucky on it.”
Prior to the game, five seniors were recognized for their service to Cornell soccer. While the team faced a difficult season this year, Scales said that he was proud about how his team came out to compete and noted the seniors’ performances were “right on the money.”
“It’s a tough way to go out with a loss like that, especially when we deserved to win, but I’ve never been as proud as I was to play on a field tonight with those guys,” Reuter said.
Archived article by Brian Tsao
Sun Senior Editor