Cornell men’s soccer went into its final game of 2019 against a foe that it hadn’t downed in Ithaca since 2013.
On its senior day, the Red dominated Columbia, 4-0, to earn it third place in the Ivy League for the 2019 season.
Cornell wasted no time in putting numbers on the scoreboard. Less than 10 minutes into the game, a dangerous cross by junior midfielder Tyler Bagley found the foot of freshman forward Griffin Garrard, whose shot deflected off a Columbia defender for the game’s opening goal. Although it in real-time looked to be Garrard’s goal, it was later ruled as a Columbia own-goal.
In the 33rd minute, senior forward George Pedlow extended Cornell’s lead in his last game with the team. With the ball bouncing outside of the Columbia box, Pedlow took control and fired a blistering shot past the Lions goalkeeper. An emotional moment for the London native, the goal represented a culmination of 4 years of hard work and sacrifice.
“It meant the world to me,” said Pedlow.
The Red showed no intention of slowing down when, six minutes later, senior defender Ryan Bayne connected with midfielder and fellow senior captain John Scearce off a free kick set piece. A flighted long ball was the delivery that Scearce needed to deliver a power header into the Columbia net.
Another emotional moment on the pitch, the goal marked the 10th of his Cornell career since transferring from junior college in 2018.
“I never expected to get the opportunity to play at an Ivy League school,” Scearce said.
Senior captains continued to get in on the action, as in the 53rd minute, forward Brady Dickens scored his fifth career goal after clinically tapping the ball into an open net. Cornell’s offense dominated the game, and the senior day crowd erupted into cheers after every goal with player chants and signs galore.
On the other end of the field, goalkeeping masterclass by junior Ryan Shellow preserved a clean sheet for the team, officially sending the seniors off into the Berman sunset with a 4-0 win.
“I couldn’t have written the script any better … they deserved it,” said head coach John Smith.
The program will graduate seniors midfielder Kyle Walsh, defender Riley Adams, Bayne, Dickens, Pedlow and Scearce.
Despite the departure of these key players, the team’s future continues to look bright, with multiple integral members of the squad — like midfielder Brandon Morales, who led the team with four assists — only freshmen in the 2019 season.
“I want the underclassman to push forward … and make [Cornell] into a top program in the country,” said Scearce.
Cornell’s promising young core will look to uphold the hard work and leadership principles set by its seniors in the years to come.
“This team is going to do really incredible things in the future,” Pedlow said.