October 29, 2007

Princeton’s 60th-Minute Goal Downs M. Soccer

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After a full 60 minutes of scoreless play, the Red conceded the game-deciding goal to Princeton. With the 1-0 loss, Cornell’s record fell to 5-7-1 (0-3-1 Ivy) for the season, whereas Princeton improved to 4-8-2 (2-2-0).
The game’s statistics show that this contest could hardly have been more evenly matched. Cornell and Princeton recorded 12 and 13 total shots, respectively, and both teams had 5 shots on goal. For the Red, however, that one shot differential made a big difference.
“It was a hard fought game, but neither team had very many goal-scoring opportunities,” said junior Dana Flanders. “Princeton just managed to capitalize on one of the few chances that they had. Otherwise, it was a direct game, and unfortunately we couldn’t get a goal.”
Junior Dan McKallagat agreed with his teammate and attested to the team’s disappointment.
“I would say although the game was relatively evenly played throughout the 90 minutes; we probably had the better of the scoring opportunities, especially in the first half,” McKallagat said. “ I would say that neither of the teams was probably very impressed with the overall quality of the game. But sometimes that’s just how games go and at the end of the day, they were able to capitalize on one of their chances and we weren’t.”
Brandon Rush scored Princeton’s game-winner when he received a deflected ball off of a Red defender. Rush capitalized on the deflection and shot quickly from 15 yards out into the net. This goal was the deal breaker and the game remained at 1-0 for the remaining 30 minutes.
“Saturday was a pretty tough game for us,” McKallagat said. “We definitely went into the weekend with the mentality that a win was really the only acceptable result, so to drop it 1-0 was pretty frustrating.”
According to junior Joe Yonga, the Red’s struggle with injuries continues to plague the team’s performance.
“This season has been more difficult than those in the past because of the many injuries we have suffered,” Yonga said. “We have had a number of guys move into and out of the lineup that finding our rhythm as a team has been difficult. We cant make excuses for ourselves though, and we need to continue to work hard to make the remainder of the season a success. The injuries we have suffered have offered opportunities for younger guys to get into the lineup and gain valuable experience.”
“Now it’s just really important for us to re-group throughout the week and prepare for Dartmouth on the weekend,” McKallagat said. “Obviously as we enter November, it’s really important that we stay positive as a team and remain mentally focused on each of our last four games. We still have an opportunity to move up in the league and I know right now that’s still everyone’s main goal.”