The last time the men’s soccer team won at Princeton’s Lourie-Love Field, half of Cornell’s current undergraduate population wasn’t even born – the feat has not occurred since way back in 1985.
“We’re going down there hoping to change history,” said head coach Bryan Scales.
Cornell (3-7-2, 2-2-0 Ivy) takes the field tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m. hoping to end its 20-year drought against Princeton (3-6-3, 0-2-1 Ivy). Although the Tigers are winless in conference play this season, their two losses have come against Brown and Dartmouth, the No. 1 and 2 teams in the division.
“Don’t be fooled by the record,” Scales said. “They’ve played some strong teams right off the bat and so they’ve taken a couple of losses already, but they’re going to be very good.”
Princeton has played Cornell tough in recent years, tying the Red 1-1 in last year’s match at Berman Field and handing Cornell a 2-1 double-overtime loss in 2003.
“We’ve had some very good games at Princeton,” Scales said. “Unfortunately, they tend to be heartbreakers in the end, but they’ve been very good games and I expect that we’ll come out and be ready to go [tomorrow] afternoon.”
Cornell’s biggest test of the match will be trying to contain Princeton’s senior forward, Darren Spicer. Spicer was last year’s Ivy League Player of the Year and currently leads his teams in goals (5) and assists (2). Right behind him in goals is fellow forward Adrian Melville, who has three tallies on the season.
“The key to the game is going to be can we keep their two front-runners Spicer and Melville off the board,” Scales said. “If our back four does a good job against them we’re going to have a great chance to win the game.”
Despite the fact that Spicer continues to perform, overall, the Princeton squad has been relatively quiet offensively. In 12 games this year, the Tigers have scored only 11 goals. Half of Princeton’s losses this season have been shutouts.
Defensively, Princeton is led by senior Jame Wunsch, whose height makes him a dangerous offensive presence on corners and free kicks.
Senior Bobby Guelich minds the net for Princeton. Guelich leads the Ivy League in saves with 66 and boasts a 1.17 goals-against average.
Conscious of Princeton’s talent up top, Scales feels confident his team matches up quite well overall against the Tigers, especially in the center of the field.
“The game’s going to be decided in the middle of the field,” Scales said. “I would put our two central midfielders, senior Pape Seye and freshman Joe Yonga, against any two midfielders in the league.”
Scales also knows that a win tomorrow against Princeton is crucial to maintaining any hope Cornell has at the Ivy League title.
“We know we have three [Ivy] games left and we can only play those games 90 minutes at a time,” Scales said. “There are a lot of points to be had over these next three weeks in the Ivy League and we’re going to try and get as many as we can and that starts at Princeton on tomorrow afternoon.”
Archived article by Paul Testa
Sun Staff Writer