November 15, 2010

Men’s Soccer Season Ends in Tie

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The men’s soccer team traveled to New York City over the weekend to take on the Columbia Lions in the final game of the season. After 90 minutes of regulation play and two periods of overtime on Saturday night, both teams remained scoreless to conclude the game in a 0-0 tie. This finishes Cornell’s season at a record of 4-8-5 (0-5-2 Ivy) while Columbia ends at 6-8-3 (2-3-2 Ivy). Over the course of the game, Columbia outshot Cornell, 8-5. However, the final statistics do not reflect the actual level of intensity that took place. The first quarter of the game witnessed some aggressive play by the Lions, but that quickly turned into domination by the Red. This was especially true for Cornell during the latter half of the matchup, in which it shot all five of its attempts and held Columbia to just three. Both teams managed three shots on target in total. The Red posted more corner kicks than the Lions, 7-6, including the four that came in the second half.Towards the end of the second half, Columbia junior goalkeeper Alex Aurrichio was ejected from the game for a tackle on the side of the net, creating an opportunity where Cornell had an extra player on the field. However, no chances were capitalized upon and Aurrichio’s replacement was put in net, posting a save on a huge Cornell breakaway to the edge of the box with just five minutes to go. “It was a tricky situation when [Aurrichio] was ejected,” said head coach Jaro Zawislan. “When you have an extra player on the field, you try to keep pressure on their team and you cannot get complacent. At the same time they add extra pressure and have all of their players up further away from their goal.”But despite the Red’s inability to convert on any chances, the team still came away with a positive result as it posted a shutout against the Lions. “[Sophomore goalkeeper Rick Pflasterer] is a machine. He’s a monster, he made some big saves and he’s one of the most consistent players I know,” said freshman forward Jake Rinow, who posted two shots on goal on the night.“I was proud of the players who, as always, played from the first to the last whistle. It is a quality group of players that will return for the spring and next fall. They never give up and always have the same strong intensity and work ethic,” Zawislan said. “We had a lot of injuries this season but … a lot of players came off of the bench and stepped up and everyone showed their talent.”Indeed, in the seniors’ last game, most of them stood out on the field and played to the best of their abilities. Forward Matt Stengel, for example, also contributed two of the shots on target.“It was disappointing to send the seniors away with a tie,” Rinow said, noting how especially heartbreaking the lack of a win was because of the excessive pressure the Red showed towards the end. “Everybody was hustling, everyone was passionate and all the seniors were really passionate, really playing like it was their last game.”With the game’s result and those across the rest of Division I all going final, the NCAA bracket was announced. While neither Columbia nor Cornell enters the tournament, four Ivy League teams –– Dartmouth, Princeton, Penn and Brown –– will. This is a true testament to the competitive level of play that the Ivy League conference exhibits and speaks highly of the Red’s spirited effort all season long. After all, Cornell lost by just one goal to three of the four Ivy NCAA qualifiers throughout the fall season.“Next season we’ll work on moving the ball more with more kicking. The defense is doing that, but we need to create more chances,” Rinow said. “The goal is to come out with an Ivy League championship.”

Original Author: Reena Gilani