October 17, 2010

Men’s Soccer Upset by Yale

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All the conditions were right for the Red when it matched up with underdog Yale on Saturday night. Ithaca was for once free of rain, alumni were present for the weekend and there was the largest crowd in attendance at Berman Field in its history. But unfortunately for the Red, the Bulldogs were able to upset the home team and notch their first Ivy League win of the season.During the first half, Cornell (4-4-4, 0-2-1 Ivy) lagged slightly behind the visiting team statistically. Yale (2-9-1, 1-2 Ivy) generated nine shots to the Red’s four. Cornell posted a very strong defense throughout the whole half. Nonetheless, the Bulldogs’ offense managed to break through with a shot off of the far post and score a goal on the Red’s sophomore goaltender Rick Pflasterer at 36:43.“Defensively we did well during the whole game and that’s something that we’ve kept consistent throughout the whole season,” said junior forward Chase Aaronson. “But [their goal] wasn’t lucky; they made a very good play and that was one of their better chances that they were able to finish on.” The score remained 1-0 in Yale’s favor from that point on. For he second half of the game, Cornell’s offense picked up its speed. The home team presented eight shot chances while Yale could get only three opportunities; still, neither team got another ball past. In the end, both team tallied 12 shot attempts with two shots on goal apiece. The Red had one more corner kick than the Bull Dogs and created a few more fouls than the visitors (14-11). Still, the entirety of the game saw a strong effort from Cornell, despite the fact that it didn’t come out with the result the team hoped for. “I am proud of the effort that the players had during the game,” said head coach Jaro Zawislan. “They competed from the first to last moment.”While the team intends to stick to its current style of play, as has been the trend all season, there are a few things it will try to brush up on during practice.“We could work on getting quicker on the ball and pressuring everything. It’s the execution of the little things that we need to just focus on, and working on a high speed of play,” Aaronson said.The little things would be making cleaner finishes and just being sharper on either end of the field, all around the ball.“I think they created enough chances –– not half opportunities, but glorious chances –– that needed to be put away,” Zawislan said.Such aspects of the game were addressed during subsequent practice, where the players watched footage of the game to learn from their mistakes. Now, their focus is being shifted to Lafayette. As always, the team views the next game as the most crucial.In terms of the crowd attendance, the Red successfully drew enough fans to the field to break the “Berman Record”. Previously, the largest attendance number was 876, recorded in October of 2001. Saturday night’s game had 961 people in the stands, including former players Kurt Bettger and Eric Kusseluk. The pair was inducted to the Cornell Athletics Hall of Fame the night before the game.“It was a much-appreciated, wonderful and exceptional environment created by the record-breaking crowd. It was great to see everyone in the stands enthusiastic from the start to the finish. The experience for the players to compete in front of such a great crowd was excellent and we hope to replicate that in the future,” Zawislan said.With attention now shifted to Lafayette, the team prepares for the last non-conference game of 2010. After that, the Red will finish regular play with the bulk of its Ivy League matchups of the season taking place, proving a crucial and intense period in Cornell’s schedule.

Original Author: Reena Gilani