October 20, 2008

Bulldogs Blank Men’s Soccer at Berman Field

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The frustration continued for the men’s soccer team as the Red suffered a 3-0 loss to Yale at Berman Field on Saturday. With the loss, Cornell remains winless in Ivy League play and the squad’s current losing skid has now reached five games.
While the Red was disappointed with the outcome, junior forward Matt Bouraee said that he believed the team actually competed much better and the game was more competitive than the lopsided score indicates.
“I think 3-0 represents almost domination by the other team,” Bouraee said. “But I think the game was actually pretty close. We had a lot of chances that we didn’t finish and we also gave up goals that we probably shouldn’t have.”[img_assist|nid=32786|title=Which way to go|desc=Junior Matt Bouraee (12) attempts to generate some offense.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Cornell (1-10, 0-3 Ivy) did control the play for extended stretches of time and also outshot the Bulldogs, 16-12. However, the Red attack was unable to solve junior Yale goalkeeper Travis Chulick, who made six saves to notch his fifth shutout of the year.
Yale opened up the scoring 10 minutes into the game on a corner-kick set. Sophomore midfielder Eric Meyer received the inbounds pass and relayed it to senior Frank Piasta, who one-timed a strike past Cornell sophomore goalie Scott Brody to put Yale up, 1-0. Both teams had narrow misses in the rest of the half, but the first 45 minutes came to a close with the score still at 1-0.
“We created some dangerous chances in the first half, but we were a little unlucky,” said Red sophomore forward Jeff Zimering.
However, after the start of the second half, it did not take long for the Bulldogs to expand their lead. Just six minutes into the period, a pair of Yale freshmen, midfielder Andy Hackbarth and forward Charlie Niel, connected for the Red offensive end. Hackbarth found Niel with a long cross that just escaped Brody’s reach as he came out to goal exposed, Niel neatly received the pass and launched a shot into the gaping net, putting the Bulldogs up 2-0.
With just four seconds left in the match, freshman forward Chris Dennan sprinted past the Red defenders on a break-away and scored his first ever collegiate goal to close the game with a 3-0 score.
Bouraee believes that the squad will need to step up its performance in all aspects.
“We are not scoring and we are not getting shutouts,” he said. “So that means that the defense and the offense both have problems. The midfield needs to try and help out with the forwards and with the defense.
I mean, it’s not working so I think that all aspects of our game can improve. We are trying to improve. We have made significant improvements since the first week of the season and we are going to continue down that path and keep our hopes up.”
Zimering explained that the Red was able to create some good offensive chances by picking up the pace and forcing the ball out wide. The Red players hope that by building on the positives that they saw in Saturday’s game, they will be able to create even more scoring opportunities in the future.
“I felt that we definitely created the scoring chances,” Zimering said. “The more we played quickly, the more we were able to open up and were able to spread the opposing team out. … There were glimpses of that in the Yale game and if we continue to get the ball out wide and whip some services in the box, we will definitely be successful.”
Although a 1-10 record frustrates the Red players, they are by no means giving up. In fact, Bouraee explains that though the losses may take a toll on the Red’s confidence, it also creates more motivation for the team.
“I think it affects our confidence,” said Bouraee. “I think that our performance would be better with confidence, but I don’t think it has been negatively affected. I think that the losing contributes to the underdog attitude which really builds physical and mental toughness to go out there and compete.”