October 25, 2006

Men’s Soccer Shut Out In Third Straight Game

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The men’s soccer team is beginning to relate to what famed Yankee catcher Yogi Berra was feeling when he uttered the notorious phrase, “this is like déjà vu all over again.”

The Red’s season-long goal-scoring woes continued as the team was fell to Hartwick 1-0 on a frigid Tuesday night at Berman field, extending the team’s losing streak and scoreless drought to three games. The Red now has only one win in its last nine games.

“I thought we played well overall. We came into the game with the right mentality and created a lot of chances offensively,” said head coach Bryan Scales. “But for whatever reason, we just haven’t been able to get the ball over the line.”

[img_assist|nid=19181|title=m soccer|desc=Senior midfielder Tom Marks (left) tries to get to the ball during the men’s soccer team’s 1-0 loss to Hartwick yesterday.|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=81]
Cornell (2-8-3, 1-3-1 Ivy) played the Hawks tough throughout the first half, out-shooting its opponent 7-6 and creating numerous prime scoring opportunities, but fell behind on a dubious Hartwick goal with only three minutes until halftime.

Hartwick forward Chris Jackson fired a shot from 25 yards out that caromed off the chest and over the head of Cornell goalkeeper Luca Cerretani. As the ball spun towards the goal, Cerretani regained his composure and dove headfirst to swat the ball off of the goal line — but to no avail. The linesman ruled that the ball had completely crossed the line and ruled it a goal, much to the chagrin of Scales and his players.

“I don’t even know if I could call that a goal,” Scales said. “Luca and the rest of the team were adamant that it did not go in so I have my doubts. But the lineman ruled it a goal so we couldn’t put the genie back in the bottle, we had to move on.”

Cornell regrouped in the second half and out shot the Hawks 6-2, but once again couldn’t find a way to put home the equalizer. The game continued a disturbing trend for the Red, as the team has out shot its opponents 61-28 over its last five games, but has only managed to record one victory in the process. Furthermore, the team has failed to find the back of the net in six of its last seven games, five of which were losses. Despite the bad run, Scales remains optimistic about the team’s ability and morale.

“I really can’t ask for more of an effort from them,” he said. “This was a game that was a real test of mental toughness; it was out of conference on a cold Tuesday night in front of five fans and a couple of dogs, but the guys gave it their best effort.”

Hartwick sophomore goalkeeper Joe Gibbon continued his spectacular play this season, making nine saves — several of which were diving stops — en route to his sixth shutout on the year.

“He flat out made the saves he needed to make,” Scales said. “Obviously we need to tip our cap to him, he did a great job.”

Junior Brian Kuritzky and freshman Matt Bouraee, who contributed three and two shots on goal respectively, paced the Red offensively, creating many other scoring opportunities throughout the match.

Cornell will attempt to end its scoreless drought this weekend against Princeton, the first of two Ivy League home games to end its season.

“We’re going to go into that game with a clean slate and all guns blazing,” Scales said. “The team knows that there are still six points to be taken in the Ivy League standings, so they’ll be ready to go.”