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The Cornell men’s soccer team opened its year with a game that rivaled the excitement of a late-season contest, drawing with the University of the Incarnate Word, 2-2, in Friday night’s double overtime season opener.
With almost half of its 30-man roster comprised of freshmen, the draw marks a step in the right direction for the Red, which looks to make the leap to the next level while incorporating a significant number of new pieces into its rotation.
“There were a lot of positive things that went on in the game,” head coach John Smith told Cornell Big Red. “Obviously there are some things we need to work on, but I’m really happy with what I saw on the field. To go into Texas and play in the heat against a team that is from Texas, it was tough but it was a good battle with a lot of quality moments from our team.”
Incarnate Word opened the scoring with a 14th minute header from Griffin Mallas. The Red tied things up with a 33rd minute goal from junior Walter Prince, but a quick recovery from Incarnate Word gave the team a 36th minute goal off the foot of Thomas Bibby to send the Red into the half with a one-goal deficit.
Second half play featured a major reversal in intensity, as the Red managed an 11-2 advantage in shots on target, and sophomore George Pedlow’s 82nd minute goal was the fruit of the team’s labor to square things up. With overtime not being enough, the two squads ended the night in a 2-2 draw.
“It was a tale of two halves for us,” Smith added. “At halftime we really tried to settle down and that was the difference maker. In the second period we really saw some great chances that didn’t make it to the back of the net but it’s still encouraging to see.”
Cornell finishes its two-game Texas road trip on Sunday, Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. CDT against Southern Methodist University, before heading back for its home opener on Friday, Sept. 8, at 7 p.m. against Lehigh.
By the numbers:
|Shots on Goal||5||3|