October 24, 2006

Men’s Soccer Looks to Down Hawks in Midweek Game

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Falling to a 2-6-4 (1-3-1 Ivy) record after a frustrating 2-0 loss to Brown this past weekend, the men’s soccer team will look to take out some of its aggression against its next opponent, Hartwick, tonight in a midweek matchup at home.

Recently, the Red has been playing well on the field, but it hasn’t translated into extra points in the win column. Over the past three games, Cornell has more than doubled its opponents’ shot total, 48-20, but has only managed to win one contest, a 2-1 victory over Yale on Oct. 13.
[img_assist|nid=19147|title=Speed demon|desc=Sophomore Kevin Vieira (25) dribbles into space during Cornells game against Penn on Sept. 30. (Kuan-Wei Chen / Sun Staff)|link=popup|align=left|width=100|height=86]
“We have been able to get our shots off; they just haven’t gone in,” said head coach Brian Scales.

The Red will look to reverse its recent fortunes as matchups against Hartwick, Princeton and Dartmouth remain, leaving the Red a chance to finish in the upper half of the Ivy standings.

“Right now we are in the middle of the standings with two Ivy League games left. There are six points to go after,” Scales said.

And although the games against Princeton and Dartmouth seem to be more significant, Scales knows that every game is of significance, including tonight’s against Hartwick. The Hawks have a 7-8-2 (3-1-1 Atlantic) record, boasting wins against Fairfield and Colgate, both teams the Red have failed to beat this year.

“We know that every game is important especially with the season coming to an end,” Scales said.

Hartwick has outshot opponents 204-175 this year, outscoring foes 30-18. The Hawks are led offensively by Tyler Hemmings who leads the team with 10 goals and 21 total points this season.

Cornell will also have to watch out for Craig Potter who leads the team in assists, with eight.

Hartwick will start Joe Gibson in the net. Starting all 17 games this year for the Hawks, Gibson has recorded 53 saves and five shutouts on the season. Defensively the Hawks have also been stingy in allowing corner kicks, dishing out only 60 this season, while earning 101 of its own.

According to Scales, tonight’s game will give the Red a shot to play some of the underclassmen — showcasing some players who will step in after this year’s team graduates it four-man senior class. And although the future is promising, Scales reiterates that despite the team returning majority of its players next year, the players and coaches are focused on this year.

“I haven’t thought about next year,” Scales said. “We will deal with next year when next year comes around.”

Right now, the Red’s main goal is to finish among the Ivy’s top teams.

“Our seniors have been working hard in practice, and in games. We really want to send them out with a bang,” Scales said.

The team’s increased effort has paid dividends as Cornell has had more shots on goal than its opponents in the past three games — but for the Red to be successful, shots not only need to be taken, but also scored.