Tonight at 7 p.m., the men’s soccer team will face Syracuse (1-4) at Berman Field. Not only might this game be another victory for Cornell, but it could also satisfy the Red’s thirst for revenge after falling to Syracuse, 2-1, in its season opener last year. “I think that last year we created enough opportunities for our team to win, but we didn’t utilize them. So this year we feel like we have a chance to get that win back,” said junior midfielder Jimmy Lannon. The upcoming competition also holds special meaning for the Red because of coach Jaro Zawislan’s connection to the Syracuse team. After serving as assistant coach at Syracuse for seven seasons, he gained the position of head coach at Cornell last year. Although the relationships he has with the Orange are important to him, he remains focused on helping the Red succeed. “All of the teams that I have coached and played on in the past will always have a special place in my heart. However, I am a professional so I will be focused on doing everything that I can to prepare the team to be successful to win. The full focus has to be on our play because it is a very important game for us,” Zawislan said. Not only would it be an important victory for the Red, but the Orange’s record reflects a need for a win as well. Syracuse has been unable to gain a victory outside its home field, which puts the Red at an advantage.“We feel very comfortable playing on our home field and hopefully we can come out with enough intensity to put pressure on the opponent to make them feel uncomfortable,” Lannon said. Although the Orange has been in the minds of the men’s soccer team during the last few days of practice, when it comes to strategy Cornell has been focusing on improving its own game.“We don’t really have a plan of attack that is orientated towards Syracuse because we trust our style of play. For that reason, we feel that there’s no need to change anything. From the start of the season, we have wanted to press our style of play onto our opponents and that will not change against Syracuse on Wednesday night,” Lannon said.As a result, instead of adjusting to its opponent, the Red wishes to emphasize its strengths and take control of all opportunities.“We have a solid defense, which definitely helps us. We need to finish strong in the box because even though we receive lots of chances, we don’t capitalize on them every opportunity that we get,” said junior forward Chase Aaronson. The Red also wishes to learn from past performances to help achieve success tonight. “We digested the details of the last games that we have played, what we did well and what we need to improve on. We are getting better everyday and we just need to come out ready to play. We need to be tactically disciplined and well organized. Syracuse is a quality opponent, a team from one of the top men’s conferences. They will provide a challenging game for us,” Zawislan said.
The challenge is one that the Red is eager to take on. With intensity and discipline, Cornell looks to dominate Syracuse tonight and add another win to its 3-2-1 record.
Original Author: Taylor Nieman