November 19, 2007

Men’s Soccer Sent Packing by Penn’s 89th Minute Goal

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Though the soccer team fell just short of a .500 record, the Red’s last game of the season was a close one. The Penn Quakers (6-9-2, 3-4-0 Ivy) scored the game-winning goal with less than 90 seconds remaining in regulation to defeat the Red (7-9-1, 1-5-1), by a score of 2-1.
Sophomore Matt Bouraee scored Cornell’s lone goal of the game, his ninth of the season. The goal was the first of the game, occurring in the 20th minute. Senior co-captain Aaron Vieira and junior Sean Mooney recorded the assists for Bouraee’s goal.
“The ball knocked around and since Matty’s a very quick kid, he was able to get there before the goalie,” senior Brian Kuritzky said. “He’s a great finisher; he just got around the keeper and put the ball in the net.”
The Red’s goal remained unanswered until the second half when Penn was rewarded a penalty kick. Derek Hobson capitalized on this golden opportunity and tied the game up after 60 minutes of play.
“It was great to get a goal first and early,” Kuritzky said. “Unfortunately I think the penalty kick might have changed the flow of the game — and it wasn’t to our advantage.”
The game stayed tied until 1:21 left in regulation when Omid Shokoufandeh managed to tally the game-winner for the Quakers.
“It was a very even game,” Kuritzky said. “They had possession for a lot of it, but they stayed mostly in their defensive end and weren’t too much of a threat. Neither team had too many opportunities.”
The Quakers had three times as many shots on goal as the Red, totaling three to Cornell’s one. The contest was tight but the goalies were not put to the test; junior Luca Cerretani recorded one save, which was just one more save than Penn’s Kevin Sweetland.
Both of Penn’s goals were scored off set pieces. The first goal came off of a penalty kick, driven into the lower left by Hobson. The second originated off of a Cornell foul. Penn’s Alex Grendi took the free kick and sent it into traffic in front of the net. Penn Senior Jeffrey Livingston redirected the ball and Shokoufandeh finished.
“They were given two great penalty opportunities,” Kuritzky said. “The penalty kick was frustrating and the fact that they scored their second goal off of a set piece was even more disappointing, especially because I thought we played well enough to win.”
This game marked the end of the season for these players and though the season did not go as they orginally planned, the seniors still have a lot of proud memories.
“I wouldn’t trade my time here for anything,” Kuritzky said. “It was definitely a real privilege to play with all of these guys. I don’t think its hit me yet, but I’m definitely going to miss it.”