This Saturday, the Cornell men’s soccer team will take on Harvard in its second Ivy league game of the season. The match will take place at four p.m. on Berman Field, the Red’s home turf, making it the first league home game of 2013.
Cornell comes into the match with an impressive record of 6-2-2. However, after last week’s loss against Penn, The Red is 0-1-0 in league play. Harvard, who comes into this weekend 1-6-2, is also 0-1-0 in league play and has struggled to get ahead of opponents in all but one game against UMass this season.
While the Red has been struggling these past two games, the Crimson still has a much weaker record, reflecting the trouble they have had this season. Historically, the Crimson has won 37 games against Cornell, while Cornell has only been able to win 22. However, The Red has the best overall record in the Ivy League so far and holds the title of reigning champions at the start of league play.
“This week has been all about moving forward and focusing on Harvard,” said senior captain and defenseman Jake Rinow. “In training we’ve had to recover physically and get sharper on both sides of the ball.” After losing in the first game of league play, it can be hard to recover and rally in order to play one’s best game of soccer just a week later. However, the men have really been working on focusing solely on Saturday’s game and not dwelling on the past. While the team is trying to regain confidence moving forward, it acknowledges that Harvard, despite its losing record, is still a tough opponent.
“Harvard is a battle every year, [but we have to] get on them early and impose our system on theirs,” Rinow said.
Another thing Rinow mentioned was the physical nature of Ivy league games. Head coach Jaro Zawislan explained that the focus of the team is always on the next game and improving day to day. However, the team also understands that league play carries importance that regular games may not. Especially while defending the title of Ivy league Champions, Cornell acknowledges that Ancient Eight games have immense importance, and uses that fact as motivation to be aggressive on the field.