The men’s soccer team started off a successful Homecoming weekend for Cornell by defeating Yale, 2-1, on Friday night for its first Ivy League win of 2006.
Only a few minutes into the game, freshman forward Matt Bouraee scored and the Red took the lead for the next 15 minutes of play. Yale countered with a goal and the game remained tied until junior captain Kyle Lynch scored the game-winning goal on a header from sophomore Miyad Movassaghi in the 70th minute of play.
The Red played strongly, especially in the second half, keeping the ball in the offensive end. Though in the past the Red has frequently struggled to create goal-scoring opportunities, sophomores Dan McKallagat and Joe Yonga helped the midfield transition and increased these opportunities as Cornell out-shot Yale, 13-4.
[img_assist|nid=18956|title=Close call|desc=Senior back Kiery Tuttle (5) looks to step around a Yale attacker during the Red’s 2-1 victory over the Bulldogs on Berman Field Friday night.|link=popup|align=left|width=100|height=80]
McKallagat set the first Cornell score in motion by dribbling through the Bulldogs’ defense and crossing the ball to Bouraee, who capitalized on the pass and scored his first collegiate goal after only 3:32 had elapsed in the game. This goal set the pace for the Red and encouraged further offensive pressure.
“This was a breakout game offensively,” Lynch said. “Though we didn’t capitalize on all chances, our offense was threatening near their goal and created many scoring opportunities. Matt Bouraee established himself as a dangerous and confident forward.”
Head coach Bryan Scales made slight lineup adjustments which facilitated the offensive play and helped the Red work out of a goal drought in which Cornell has been held scoreless in its last three games — including two double-overtime contests. Yonga’s return to the midfield and Movassaghi’s play in the middle helped the team’s performance, as the Red outran, outshot, and outworked the Bulldogs.
“We were better on the ball this game and had fewer turnovers. Everyone was working together,” Lynch said. “We realized that we didn’t have to wait for every opportunity to be pretty or perfect.”
The defense continued its solid, strong performance and successfully shut down the Bulldogs’ attack after their only goal and did not allow further chances. Despite an ankle injury in the first half, Lynch came back to score the game-winner and establish himself as the leading goal-scorer on the team.