The men’s soccer team (3-5-2, 2-1 Ivy) dropped a tough defensive battle, 2-0, to Yale (6-2-3, 2-1 Ivy) yesterday, giving up two goals in the final 20 minutes of match.
Rescheduled from Saturday because of the rain, both teams struggled early to find rhythm on a badly torn up field. Of a combined three shots in the first half, Yale accounted for two, while Cornell managed only one.
“It was a stalemate the first half,” said head coach Bryan Scales. “The conditions weren’t great, [but] I thought Yale did a better job at putting together passes than we did on that surface.”
Yale’s best chance to score came off free kick by Alex Guzinski midway through the first half. Bending around the Red’s defensive wall, the shot bounced off the outside of the post for a goal kick.
Play picked up in the second half, as both teams adjusted to the soggy conditions. Finding its bearings, Cornell launched eight shots in the half while Yale responded with 10 of its own.
The Bulldogs drew first blood in the 70th minute. Collecting a ball outside Cornell’s box, Yale forward Alex Munns dribbled past two Red defenders before blasting a shot into the upper 90 of the Cornell net.
“Yale was able to get the first goal and that made the big difference,” Scales said.
Cornell pressed hard for the equalizer in the closing minutes of the game. Freshman forward Dana Flanders headed a ball just wide with 11 minutes left to play. Junior midfielder Tom Marks followed a few minutes later with shot 10 yards from goal that sailed just above the crossbar.
However, Cornell could not capitalize on its chances, and with 25 seconds left in the match, gave up a penalty kick to Yale. Munns converted the penalty for his team-leading sixth goal of the season.
“To give up a penalty kick late in the game makes the score look a little different, but it was a pretty tight, back-and-forth game,” Scales said.
Freshman goalkeeper Dana Flanders had four saves on the day, while senior forward Pape Seye led the Red offensively with three shots.
“I think the guys competed and had some good opportunities to at least tie the game up at the end,” Scales said. “It wasn’t our best performance, but I wouldn’t say that it was a poor performance by any stretch.”
The loss brings Cornell’s record to 2-1 in the Ivy League. The Red is now tied for second in the Ivies with Dartmouth, Penn and Yale. Brown sits in first place with a 3-0 Ivy record.
“I don’t think [this game] changes too many things,” Scales said. “It puts a little more pressure on us now because [with] more than one loss, it’s very difficult to win the league.”
“At this stage of the game, we’re not trying to win the Ivy championship,” he added. “We’re trying to win each of our Ivy League games. The next step for us is to get ready for Penn State. That’s our next 90 minute test.”
Archived article by Paul Testa
Sun Staff Writer