An afternoon after its second straight loss to open the season, the men’s soccer team was back on Berman Field practicing and preparing for its upcoming bout against Colgate. The Red will face its second in-state team in four days when it welcomes the Raiders to Ithaca tomorrow.
Wednesday night the Red put forth its second strong performance of the year, but once again fell short of victory. Although winless, the team has been far from a docile opponent in either of its first two games – the Red has taken a combined 21 shots at this point, compared with its opponents’ total of 24. Consequently, according to head coach Bryan Scales, the rough start has not overly affected the team thus far.
“The morale is still very good,” Scales said. “They understand that their performance against Syracuse was much better than it was against Lehigh. Our connections are good, we looked really sharp in certain sections of the game – we had a couple of scrambles in the box that almost got us a goal, a diving header that was saved – so I’m not real concerned at this point.”
As is the case with any young team, time is often the best medicine for an ailing start. This Red squad – which features 13 new players – knows this firsthand.
“It’s tough though, because you progress as the season goes along,” Scales said. “I’d love us to be a bit sharper in front of the net – it’s something we work on a lot in training – but it takes time, and it’ll come together. As guys play together more, they get their timing down better, and sooner or later things just start clicking. What’s most important as a coach is seeing that your team is moving in the right direction, and I know that we are. It’s important that the chemistry is good, the spirit of the team is good, and really all the guys are going out there competing like crazy. So I feel good even though we haven’t gotten that all-important first win yet.”
The Raiders have come out strong to start its season, posting an undefeated record of 1-0-1. Ranked No. 7 in the New York region, the team’s success has been due to some outstanding play by its defense and goalie, as it is yet to surrender a score to the opposition. However, this strength in statistics does not scare the Red.
“Our guys make sure to take it one game at a time, one team at a time,” Scales said. “Colgate is a terrific team coming in here, but our guys will go out there and compete, play hard and try and influence the way the game goes best they can.”
Archived article by Ben Kopelman
Sun Staff Writer