October 12, 2010

Men’s Soccer Scores Late to Force Draw With Crimson

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Rather than enjoying a brief hiatus from a rigorous Cornell schedule for Fall Break, the men’s soccer team spent the Columbus Day weekend on the road. The squad’s first game of the weekend was on Saturday afternoon against Ivy League foe Harvard. Going into the game, the Red boasted a 3-3-3 record overall, including a sole conference game whose result was a heartbreaking loss against Penn at home. Cornell had exhibited an aggressive offense the weekend before against the Quakers, managing to keep the game even at 0-0 until almost the 89th minute when the visiting enemy scored on sophomore goalkeeper Rick Pflasterer. The Red hoped to bounce back for a win in Cambridge, Mass., most notably because Cornell had not defeated Harvard on its home turf since the start of the millennium. Although the team was unable to accomplish this goal of defeating its Crimson nemesis, the Red was still able to prove a worthy showing and come out of the game with a draw. In an ironic but fulfilling twist, Cornell was on the benefitting end of a very late goal on Saturday. After a scoreless first half, the Crimson got on the board at the 61-minute mark, netting the ball on the right side off of a rebound. As the game approached its end, it seemed as though the Red would lose its second Ivy League game of the season. However, Cornell’s unwavering determination led the team to tie the game with just 1:46 remaining. Junior forward Chase Aaronson kicked the ball between the Harvard pipes from a deflected pass, 20 yards out. Just as Penn was able to upset the Red seven days prior, the Red caused Harvard equal disappointment by concluding the game with a score of 1-1 –– a score that two overtimes could not change to either team’s favor. The overall series between the two teams was brought to 31-15-13 in favor of the Crimson on this sunny, breezy afternoon in New England. “We scored late in the game due to the fact that we always play regardless of the score,” said sophomore forward Tyler Regan.Regan, a starting forward in this game, had one shot on goal of his own. “What comes out late in the game is our really good endurance because our coach keeps us in great shape,” Regan said. “The fitness is at a high level and [because of that] we can give our 100 percent at the end of the game.”With approximately five minutes left in the game, the team was reminded of this. A Harvard player suffered an injury off of a cleared ball and as the Red went to the sidelines it was reminded that it was capable of pulling off a finish and not just settle for a loss. Three strikers were put on instead of two, and both the defensive and midfield lines pressed up with the forwards to achieve the result of a goal.“It was the last five minutes, just putting a lot of pressure on their team,” Regan said. “Overall, it was a good game for getting a result.”

Original Author: Reena Gilani