September 9, 2010

Men’s Soccer Looks to Build On Momentum From Hartwick Win

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They were down two goals in the second half with 20 minutes remaining. They outshot their opponents, 7-2, in the first half yet could not capitalize on chances. They came into this matchup without scoring an official goal, losing 1-0 in their first match of the season. However, the drought did not last very long. Within the span of four minutes, the men’s soccer team scored three unanswered goals to take the lead and eventually defeat Hartwick, 3-2, in its first home contest of the season.

“There is a big difference [in this year’s team],” said junior forward Franck Onambele. “We have a wave of young players who have the support from the returning players in order to adapt to the system. It is a good group, and we will bring a lot of surprises.”

The Red (1-1-0) will look to stay on the winning and offensive path this weekend when it visits Burlington, Vt., to participate in the Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Nike Classic. Cornell will play the University of New Hampshire (1-0-1) tonight at 1:30 p.m., and will return to action on Sunday to square up against the University of Vermont (2-1-0) at the same time in the afternoon.

“We have high expectations for this weekend,” said freshman forward Daniel Haber, who had an assist and a goal in the game against Hartwick. “We know that every Division 1 team we play will be a challenge. But we have confidence that if we execute our game plan, we will come out with the results we are looking for.”

New Hampshire will present a defensive squad against Cornell. In their past two games, the Wildcats’ offense has scored a single goal while the defense has yet to concede one. New Hampshire tied the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 0-0, in its first game of the season and won the second contest of its fall campaign against Central Connecticut State University, 1-0, to win the 21st Annual UNH Nike Fall Soccer Classic. However, Jaro Zawislan –– who has a 7-7-5 record as Cornell’s head coach –– hopes that his offensive philosophy of constant pressure on the attacking end will overpower the Wildcats’ defensive approach to the game.

Historically, New Hampshire has won two of the three games played against Cornell. In 1994, the Wildcats dominated the Red, 3-0. Cornell tied the all-time series with a 1-0 win 12 years later. The last matchup between both squads took place in 2008, where New Hampshire prevailed, 2-1, in Bucknell University’s Invitational Tournament.

On Sunday, Cornell will have to face a Vermont team that kicked off the season with a huge win, as it topped then-ranked (No. 13) Stanford, 2-1, in overtime. Last season, the Catamounts also dominated a ranked opponent, when they claimed victory over the University of Maryland–Baltimore by a score of 3-1.

Vermont lost its second game of the season against Central Connecticut, 1-0, but bounced back to oust the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2-1, in double overtime. Based on these results, the Red will be facing a team that has proven itself under high-pressure conditions.

The Red has had only three meetings with the Catamounts in program history. Vermont leads the all-time series with two wins and a one-goal (3-2) advantage over Cornell.

After the weekend, the Red will return to Ithaca, N.Y., where it will play its next three games.

“I want to thank all who came to our memorable home opener against Hartwick,” Haber said. “The game was a good indication that the new-look Cornell soccer team is in for a special season with its eyes set on the NCAA tournament. Come and support us when we kick-off our three-game home stand next Thursday, Sept. 16.”

Original Author: AJ Ortiz