Following a disheartening 2-0 loss to rival Colgate on Tuesday evening, the men’s soccer team will look to pull even with Brown in the Ivy League standings in its last away match of the 2006 season.
Although the Red (2-6-3, 1-2-1 Ivy) has struggled to score all year long — ranking last in the Ivy League with seven goals — its offense has come alive of late, setting new season highs in each of its last two games by launching 20 and 13 shots, respectively.
“We’ve had some terrific opportunities in the past couple of games, and the team has become a lot more comfortable on offense,” said head coach Bryan Scales. “But you can’t win if you don’t score so we need to put some more points up.”
Fortunately for Cornell, the Bears ((8-3-2, 2-1-1) appear to be just what the doctor ordered, as Brown has allowed the second-most goals in the Ivy League (22) this season, including nine in its last two games.
The news certainly is not all positive, however, as Brown has also more than tripled the Red’s offensive output with 21 goals — good enough for second in the Ivy League — and was ranked as high as No. 14 nationally only a week ago.[img_assist|nid=19086|title=Step up|desc=Sophomore Joe Yonga (20) tackles the ball from a Penn player during the two team’s meeting on Sept. 30. (Kuan-Wei Chen / Sun Staff)|link=popup|align=right|width=78|height=100]
“They are a very dangerous team going forward and have a number of dynamic players up top,” Scales said. “But we’re typically pretty stingy so we’re not going to do anything different against them. We just have to play our game.”
The powerful Brown attack is led by quite an unlikely candidate — sophomore defender Rhett Bernstein — who currently paces the team with 14 points and ranks third in the Ivy League with seven goals, two of which were game winners.
Curiously enough, just a year ago Bernstein accumulated no goals and two points in 17 games with the Bears, despite making the All-Ivy honorable mention squad.
He is not the only player Cornell needs to keep an eye on, however, as Brown also boasts another one of the league’s best scorers — senior Andrew Daniels. Daniels is second on the team in goals (four) and points (11) this season, and is only a year removed from a first team All-Ivy and second-team All-New England junior campaign.
The Red will counter with a one of the league’s best defenses, led by sophomore goal-keeper Luca Cerretani and the experienced co-captain duo of junior Kyle Lynch and senior Dan Marks. Cerretani has exceeded all expectations this year, posting an impressive 0.92 goals against average to go along with 32 saves in nine games.
Meanwhile Lynch — who currently leads the team with two goals and four points — and Marks have held the team together with outstanding leadership both on and off the field.
Despite the lockdown defense, the Red will go into Saturday’s game wondering the same thing it does every match — where are the goals going to come from?
“The missing link for us this year has been that one first team All-Ivy goal scorer,” Scales said. “But I think in time that player will emerge from within the program as a lot of our sophomores and freshmen have taken big steps forward. A number of guys — most notably [freshmen Matt] Bouraee and [sophomore] Dana Flanders — have the potential to get there.”