Junior Aaron Vieira scored his first goal of the season — and the Red’s last goal of the year — just when his team needed it most, securing a double-overtime, 1-0 victory over Dartmouth on Berman Field on Saturday.
The win gives the Red (4-8-3, 3-3-1 Ivy) a fourth-place share in the Ivy standings with the rival Green (6-8-3, 3-3-1).
“It’s really nice to finish up the season with a win,” Vieira said.
At the 108:04 mark in the second overtime, junior Brian Kuritzky serviced a ball into the box off a corner kick, followed by Vieira’s header that sent the team into celebratory mode after a long physical match that was littered with 39 fouls.
“It was your typical Ivy League battle. My guys knew that [Dartmouth] was difficult and the team always has been,” said head coach Bryan Scales.
Both teams had chances to finish the game earlier in the match — but all of the two squads’ combined 24 shots came to no avail.
Cornell’s first attempt came 16 minutes into the match when Kuritzky’s indirect goal attempt was denied after a diving save from Dartmouth’s senior goalkeeper Rowan Anders. Junior Kyle Lynch had an opportunity for the Red in the first half as he headed a corner kick that just wide of the net.
[img_assist|nid=19633|title=Setup man|desc=Junior Brian Kuritzky (pictured) assisted on the game-winning goal in the Red’s win over Dartmouth.|link=popup|align=left|width=60|height=100]
Dartmouth had its best chance 60 minutes into the game when sophomore Dani Rothenburg had a breakaway from midfield, but sent his shot above the net.
Dartmouth out-shot Cornell, taking 15 shots to the Red’s 10. Dartmouth also held the advantage in corner kicks, 12-3.
After losing a multitude of games despite holding the advantage in shots on net, the Red knows it doesn’t matter how many shots were taken. What is important is how many goals are scored.
“That stat can be very misleading. Even though [Dartmouth] had more attempts, we never felt that threatened,” Vieira said.
The win was the last for seniors Dan and Tom Marks, Kiery Tuttle and Brian Scruton — all of whom were honored in a ceremony before the start of the game. The band of seniors have aided in the Red’s valiant finish, scoring three goals and refusing to allow any in the squad’s final two games of the season.
“We have played very well towards the end of the season. We found out what we needed to do and we starting doing it,” Vieira said.
The Red is hoping to continue this win streak into next season. The 2007 campaign starts right after New Year’s Day with practices five days a week full of various drills to improve team strength, agility and conditioning.
“We are very excited about our prospects for next season,” Scales said.
Wins next season will not only elevate the Red’s status in the Ivy League, but elevate Scales on the Cornell all-time wins list. His win on Saturday tied him in fourth place with former coach Dan Wood.
“I am not too concerned with that but it is nice. Hopefully, there is more where that comes from.” Scales said.