Lev Katreczko / Sun Photographer

Team captain Emeka Eneli sets up in front of the goal in hopes of scoring on the UC Santa Barbara goal keeper. The Red would ultimately come out of the game victorious.

September 21, 2021

Red Men’s Soccer Look to Further Four Game Win Streak Tuesday against rival Syracuse

Print More

The Red Men’s Soccer team (4-1) are winners of four straight and look to carry that momentum into Tuesday’s twilight matchup against rival Syracuse University (4-3). The Battle for Central New York will kick off at 7 p.m. at Berman Field, where Cornell’s eleven will look to capture regional pride and beat the Orange at home for the first time since 1998. The Red own a 32-19-5 lifetime record against Syracuse — and will look to avenge a 3-2 overtime loss in their last meeting in 2019. 

After falling to Wake Forest in double overtime in the first game of the year, Cornell has rattled off impressive non-conference victories at High Point, versus St Joseph’s, against UC Santa Barbara, and at Fairleigh Dickinson. 

Integral to the team’s high-octane attack has been senior midfielder Tyler Bagley, who has already tallied six goals, two assists, and 14 points this season. Bagley’s goalscoring achievements earned him Ivy League Player of the Week for Sept. 14 as well as Top Drawer Soccer National Player of the Week. His 1.25 goal per game average ranks second in all of NCAA Division One soccer.

The consistency and improved cohesiveness of the backline has also sustained Cornell’s success this season. Junior keeper Brady McSwain has started all five matches, averaging 3.6 saves and 1.52 goals against. McSwain has paired well with senior defender Nick Allen, as well as three new faces to the starting lineup — sophomore defenders Kisa Kiingi, Mateo Rodriguez and Wilson Eisner. 

This defensive group has an amicable relationship away from the soccer field, which improves their communication. 

“The way we regard each other as close friends makes our chemistry much better,” Rodriguez said . 

On Saturday afternoon, the Red traveled to Madison, New Jersey to meet Fairleigh Dickinson (2-4-1). The improved chemistry of the backline was on full display, holding the opponents to just three shots on goal. The Red came away with a 3-1 victory. The defensive unit will face a stiffer test on Tuesday against an explosive Syracuse attack. 

The Syracuse Orange (4-3) enter the contest having won three of their last four, but are coming off a 5-4 double overtime loss to Louisville. The Orange will test Cornell’s defence, with an average 2.57 goals per game on the feet of two underclassmen strikers — sophomore Deandre Kerr and freshman Curt Calov. 

Kerr will be especially important to keep an eye on. The Ajax, Ontario native has been blitzing hot of-late, scoring seven goals in his last four games. Kerr has also played with pinpoint accuracy; 70.8 percent of his shots have been on goal this season. Calov, on the other hand, has made an impressive entrance into collegiate soccer, collecting four goals in just two starts. 

The Orange will bring a defense that has looked breakable at times this season. Syracuse has struggled to settle on an every game keeper, rotating between senior Lucas Daunhauer and junior Russell Shealy. Daunhauer has started the last four games, allowing just one goal in his first three appearances. In the team’s recent outing against Louisville, however, he allowed five goals. The shaky performance could mean that Shealy will return to start in goal. The junior started the first three games of the season, conceding four goals and collecting five saves. 

Syracuse will come to Berman Field with a dynamic offense and unsettled defense. Fans should anticipate a competitive, high-scoring affair. The Red average 2.8 goals per game this season and will look to capitalize on their opponents’ recent defensive woes.