While many Cornell students were battling through the sweaty crowd at Barton Hall to get as close as possible to the performances of Cee Lo Green and Kid Cudi during a rare Saturday night concert, the men’s soccer team was in an entirely different world, battling an Ancient Eight foe at Berman Field through the cold Ithaca weather. During the final home game of the season, 11 seniors celebrated their four seasons with Cornell (4-8-4, 0-5-1 Ivy League), as the team played its Senior Game against Dartmouth (9-6-1, 3-3-0 Ivy League). The Red battled hard in its second-to-last game of the season, falling in a heartbreaking, 1-0, loss to the Green.
“I think every one of the seniors stepped on the field and contributed in the best way they could; it was a positive performance with a disappointing result, but we’ll keep moving forward,” said head coach Jaro Zawislan.
Rather than beginning with the traditional starting goalie, sophomore Rick Pflasterer, senior Scott Brody was put in Cornell’s cage for the start of the game.
Brody boasted three saves throughout the course of the game, as he was in net until the last 15 minutes. He only let up one shot on goal, which came during the first 11 minutes of play.
“We created opportunities and we created opportunities early in the game. The first goal sets up the game very nicely for the team that scores it because you don’t feel that you’re chasing the game all the time,” Zawislan said. “But they scored the first goal; they set up the game somewhat for them.”
Still, the game was not all Dartmouth. In fact, the Red played a very close and intense game against the Green.
“We kept pressing, we created opportunities in the second half, too, we threw the third forward out there –– changed the formation to the more attacking formation and created some good opportunities but we just have to put the chances away. We are working on it and we tried to improve,” Zawislan said. “Of course, I was very proud of the players who stepped up because we had some key injuries since a couple of weeks ago –– there were at least four starters that went through different injuries, some of them come back sooner than later –– but the thing is, I was proud of the other guys that stepped in; they were doing a very good job.”
Indeed, especially with the amount of injuries and the rotation through players off of the bench, the numbers showcase Cornell’s strength and talent throughout the game. The Green had a slight edge in shots, 11-9, and corner kicks, 6-5, but the Red tallied six fewer fouls and made more saves throughout the whole game.
“Anyone who was here saw that we made a lot of chances. Our program as a whole has clearly been making steps forward; it’s just tough when you don’t get that win,” said junior midfielder Jimmy Lannon. “If you look at our game against Dartmouth last year –– we were down, 2-0, and we made a couple of chances but it really wasn’t nearly the same. There were parts of this game where we dominated the play –– we’ve just got to stick that one away that makes the difference.”
Both Lannon and Zawislan emphasized how important the senior game was to the team, and how while the result was not what the Red wanted, it was still a very special match and will not deter the team from going after a win next weekend during the final game of the season.
“It’s great when you have people here but tonight was a special night, where we could kind of honor the 11 guys who have been here for a long time and stuck it out through some tough times. I think we were all really motivated. It’s never easy to go out like this but we just really care about them,” Lannon said. “Now, our goal against Columbia is to end on a win. We want to create as much momentum going forward as possible.”
Original Author: Reena Gilani