November 14, 2008

M. Soccer Focuses on Getting One Ivy Win

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The 2008 campaign will come to an end this weekend for the men’s soccer team, as the Red travel to New York City to square off against the Columbia Lions tomorrow.
[img_assist|nid=33589|title=Static stretching|desc=Sophomore forward Matt Bouraee (12) fights for the ball during Cornell’s 3-0 loss to Princeton Nov. 1.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Both of these teams have struggled throughout much of the year and are currently last and second-to-last respectively in the Ivy League standings.
The Red (1-14, 0-6 Ivy) and the Lions (3-12-1, 1-5) are both coming off of resounding defeats last weekend — Columbia was routed by Harvard, 6-1, and Cornell fell to Dartmouth, 5-2.
The Red players are trying not to dwell on the past, however.
“We’ve got focus,” said sophomore defender Adam Hardie. “We haven’t been concerned with anything else except this one last game.”
This Saturday’s game will decide the final positioning at the bottom of the Ancient Eight standings, as the Red have a chance to pass the Lions and move into 7th place with a win in New York City.
“As the two teams in the bottom of the league,” Hardie said, “this game means more than other games almost.”
The Lions’ attack is spearheaded by sophomore forward Adafin Bayo, who has tallied a team-leading five goals on the year. At the other end of the field, Columbia has two freshmen goaltenders Alex Aurrichio and Zach Glubiak, who split time last weekend in the loss against Harvard.
The Red has been plagued by inconsistency on both ends of the field, having scored only eight goals all year while allowing 41 to its opponents. Similarly, Columbia has had trouble both offensively and defensively, scoring just 14 goals in its 16 games and surrendering 28 goals in that same span.
In the Red’s loss last Saturday, junior forward Matt Bouraee, who scored nine times for Cornell last year, scored twice to move his 2008 total to three goals.
This matchup will be the last-ever collegiate game for 10 Red seniors who will be graduating this spring. By comparison, Columbia will be saying good-bye to just four seniors in what will be Senior Day for the Lions.
“It’s the last game on [for Columbia on its] home field, and obviously for their seniors it’s a big deal,” Hardie said. “But certainly, for our seniors, it’s their last game, too.”