It was an all too familiar scene Saturday night for the men’s soccer team, as the Red once again failed to find the back of the net — despite launching 15 shots — in a 2-0, shutout loss at Brown.
“We had a very disappointing first half but followed it up with one of our best performances of the year in the second half,” said junior co-captain Kyle Lynch. “Although it was promising, the fact that we couldn’t score a goal is simply unacceptable.”
The Bears (9-3-2, 3-1-1) attacked Cornell’s (2-6-4, 1-3-1 Ivy) experienced defense early and often, also firing 15 shots over the course of the game, six of which were put on goal. Unlike Cornell’s play, the Bears’ aggression didn’t take long to reap rewards, as Brown jumped out to an early lead just 4:32 into the game.
After a botched clear attempt, the ball caromed off the back of Brown senior midfielder Ian Premo and squirmed along the Cornell 18-yard line. It was then intercepted by Brown’s rookie Nick Elenz-Martin, who promptly one-timed the ball past diving Cornell sophomore goalkeeper Luca Cerretani, giving the Bears a lead they would never relinquish.
[img_assist|nid=19127|title=m soccer|desc=Junior Aaron Vieira (21) dribbles past a Penn opponent during the Red’s 1-0 home loss to Penn on Sept. 30.|link=popup|align=left|width=100|height=89]
Only 24 minutes later, the much-heralded Bears offense struck once again, this time off a throw in by sophomore Darren Howerton. As the ball entered the box, Cerretani missed in his attempt to punch it out of the zone and the ball fell into the lap of senior forward Andrew Daniels. Daniels — a first All-Ivy and second team All-New England performer last season — quickly deposited it into the open net for his fifth goal of the season, putting Brown up 2-0.
“They were in our zone for the majority of the first half so it was inevitable that eventually we would make a mistake with the ball that would give them an easy score,” Lynch said.
The commanding lead proved to be insurmountable to a Cornell team that is much more equipped to protect a lead than to come from behind. The Red did not go down without a fight, however, as the squad kept pressure on Brown for the rest of the match with offensive pressure of its own.
Cornell’s offense — playing with a sense of urgency — came to life in the second half, producing seven corner kicks and out shooting the Bears, 8-5. As has been the Achilles heal for the Red all year, however, all of those opportunities went to waste as no one was able to finish.
Freshman forward Matt Bouraee led the charge for Cornell, taking four shots over the course of the match — two of which were put on goal.
Sophomore Bears goalkeeper Jarrett Leech had one of the more impressive games of his career, stopping all eight Cornell shots on goal to post his second shutout on the year.
“Leech stopped three or four one-on-one situations and also came up with one of the best saves I’ve seen in awhile,” Lynch said. “He was very impressive.”
Cornell will return home for tomorrow night’s game against Hartwick, the first of three consecutive home matches to finish its season.