After a 2-0 loss to Syracuse, above, Cornell traveled to California and picked up one win and one loss.

Boris Tsang / Sun Assistant Photography Editor

After a 2-0 loss to Syracuse, above, Cornell traveled to California and picked up one win and one loss.

September 17, 2018

Men’s Soccer Returns 1-1 From Brief California Trip

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In their short stay out west this weekend, men’s soccer split a pair of games, bringing them to an overall 4-2 record.

The Red, following a tough 2-0 loss to Syracuse, dropped a 3-1 game in their first matchup in program history with the University of California Northridge. The Red followed up the loss to Northridge with a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Cal State Fullerton.

The Red also suffered its first road loss of the season in its bout against Northridge. In the loss, sophomore Harry Fuller notched his first goal of the season and the Red’s only goal of the game. Although the Red took more shots than the Matadors, 18 to 15, the dynamic nature of the Northridge squad frazzled the Red.

“There are always numerous challenges when you go on the road, and they are often greater when you travel 3,000 miles across the country to a different time zone, with a different climate,” head coach John Smith said. “Aside with challenges of that nature, we were also up against two top teams. CSUN will be the most athletic and also most experienced team we will face all year, and their No. 13 national ranking is completely justified.”

In its second game, against Cal State Fullerton, Cornell returned to old form in a classic comeback win this team is quickly coming to be known for. Freshman Szabolcs Wiksell scored the Red’s first goal of the game and first goal of his college career. Only a short seven minutes and seven seconds after Wiksell scored, dynamic freshman Emeka Eneli netted his third goal of the season and put the Red up for good.

The Fullerton game marks the third time this season the Red has gone down 1-0 and won the contest. The Red heads into a week of practice and a weekend of non-conference games determined and ready to improve.

“There were so many positives to take from the weekend,” Smith said. “First and foremost this proved to be an excellent bonding trip for the guys. … Secondly, and most importantly, we came out of this trip with even more belief. The second half turnaround against a well-rested CSUF team will have given this group so much confidence as we move into the next phase of the season.”

The Red will kick off next at home Friday night at 7 p.m. against Niagara University in just its second home game of the season.