On Saturday in Philadelphia, Cornell (6-1-1) started Ivy League competition strong with a 3-0 victory over the University of Pennsylvania (4-3-1). Junior keeper Brady McSwain made a pair of saves as the Red held its opponents to no goals for the first time this season.
The Red controlled the outing from start to finish. Two minutes into the game, senior forward Emeka Eneli drew a penalty kick after getting tangled up with a Penn defender inside the penalty box. Senior forward Harry Fuller stepped up and struck the ball inside the left post for his fifth goal of the year.
The Red kept the pressure on Penn senior keeper Dane Jacomen. After a period of attacking play, Cornell found its second goal of the game off the head of sophomore forward Henry Hylbert. In the 29th minute, Hylbert found an opening in the box to head in a corner kick from senior midfielder Tyler Bagley, extending Cornell’s advantage to 2-0.
The second half yielded just two total shots-on-goal as the teams became more physical on defense. The Red kept the ball on Penn’s half of the pitch, forcing turnovers and refusing to concede quality scoring opportunities.
In the 73rd minute, Eneli tacked on a third goal for Cornell when he knocked in a cross from junior midfielder Griffin Garrard.
All told, the Quakers could only muster one corner kick and two shots-on-goal across the match. After posting an impressive all-around performance, the Red will return home for a rivalry contest against the Harvard Crimson (3-3-2) this Saturday.
Now halfway through the season, the Red is developing an identity as a high-scoring offense. Cornell ranks third among NCAA Division 1 teams with 2.88 goals per game. Bagley leads the team with eight goals, a mark that is fourth best in the country.
The Red has not lost since dropping the first game of the year at Wake Forest 2-1. Consistency from McSwain and the backline have been crucial as well, holding opponents to 1.25 goals per game.
For the visiting Crimson, the top attacking threat will be freshman forward Alessandro Arlotti. The collegiate newcomer has already scored three goals and tallied three assists in his time at Harvard.
Harvard’s greatest strength is its defense — conceding 1.00 goals per game. Junior keeper Oskar Nilsson has saved 82.2 percent of shots-on-target, and Harvard averages 6.25 saves per game, second highest in the NCAA.
The last time the Crimson came to Ithaca, the Red thrashed its rival 6-0. But Harvard’s defense may be more difficult to break down this time around with such dependable goaltending.
Cornell will meet Harvard at 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9 at Berman Field.