October 21, 2008

Red Tries to Snap Loss Streak

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The men’s soccer team will enter the third and final leg of a hectic segment of its schedule that had the Red (1-10, 0-3 Ivy) playing three games in six days. After losses to Penn State on Wednesday and Yale on Saturday, Cornell returns to action tonight as it travels to Hamilton, NY to square off against the host Colgate Raiders (7-4-2, 3-1 Patriot).
The Red is currently in the midst of a five game losing streak and it was exactly one month ago today that the Red last registered a win. Junior forward Matt Bouraee believes that the best way for his team to improve and break out of its rut is indeed by playing more games.
“The best training is playing the games,” Bouraee said. “We played the game against Yale and then had a day off, just to recuperate. We will have a day of training and then we will go into the Colgate game. It’s really not a bad schedule at all.”[img_assist|nid=32821|title=One step ahead|desc=Junior forward J.J Bain will try to help the Red offense find its rhythm.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
While the loaded schedule may present the Red with an opportunity to get back on track, it also raises the possibility that many of the Cornell players will be fighting fatigue on the field tonight. However, Bouraee explained that because of their struggles this season, the Red players are extremely motivated to prove themselves and that desire will counteract any possible tiredness.
“Fatigue may be an issue but I don’t think it is that significant of a factor,” Bouraee said. “I think that our motivation to win and just to get back on track will overcome the fatigue.”
Sophomore forward Jeff Zimering added that the Red players are accustomed to exhausting practices, and that will prove invaluable in helping to ward off any fatigue in tonight’s game.
“We pride ourselves on being fit,” Zimering explained. “The hard preseason and the very intense training sessions definitely help us in these types of situations where we are playing midweek games and also on the weekends.”
Tonight, Cornell will be up against a Colgate team that, as of last week, was ranked No. 5 in the NSCAA Middle Atlantic Region Poll. The Raiders have won their last two games and boast an impressive repertoire on both offense and defense. So far this year Colgate has allowed just 11 goals in 13 games and has scored 18 of its own during the same span.
The Raiders offense is headlined by sophomore forward Steven Miller, who has registered a team-leading five goals and 12 points. Miller is flanked on the attack by four Raiders who have seven or more points on the year, including a pair of junior midfielders — Chris Ross (four goals, eight points) and Alex Weekes (two goals, nine points).
While the Red recognizes that Colgate presents a formidable foe, Zimering explains that he and his teammates are more focused on improving their own game and enforcing their own style of play on the field tonight.
“We played them last year and it was a close game, but we got the better of them,” Zimering said. “Colgate is always a good team. Just like any other game, we will come out the same way: prepared, focused, and be ready to go. The most important thing is that we compete. At the end of the day if we feel that we have out-competed the other team, then we will win the game. We’re not really worried too much about Colgate as much as we are worried about the performance that we put out there. We are more concerned about how we play and about how we impose our game on Colgate, rather than about how Colgate is going to come out.”
Last year, Cornell defeated Colgate on Berman Field in a game in which Bouraee scored one of his nine goals of 2007. With that win, the Red moved to 4-2. While the circumstances may be different this year, the Red is looking for a similar outcome and continues to work hard to improve its current 1-10 record.
“We have a dedicated core of seniors and it’s definitely tough for them to lose as much as we have been losing. But, we remain optimistic,” Zimering said. “Day-in and day-out, we train the same way. We are optimistic about our chances for the rest of the games and we are just going to keep plugging away; no one is giving up.”