With a victory vital in order to receive NCAA tournament consideration, Cornell (11-3-2) returned to Berman Field on Nov. 13 looking to defeat in-state rival Columbia (1-10-5). The Red was on the attack for most of the game, out-shooting the Lions 19 to five — but the match finished a 1-1 deadlock after 110 minutes of play.
After celebrating a decorated senior class, the intensity and importance of the game was quickly on display. Senior midfielder Nick Allen drew a yellow card just 54 seconds into the contest. A total of six bookings would be handed out.
Lions junior keeper Michael Collodi was making saves from the first minute. The Red attack forced Collodi to make three more saves before senior midfielder Tyler Bagley found the netting in the 38th minute. After earning a free kick from way outside the 18-yard box, Bagley surprised the Lions with a powerful drive that whizzed into the top-left corner of the goal, just beyond Collodi’s fingertips.
Cornell would only lead for four minutes before the Lions equalized. Sophomore forward Will DeNight converted the team’s lone shot-on-goal. After a long throw-in skipped inside the box, DeKnight received the ball off a deflection, kicked it out of the air, and into the left side of the net. Columbia would not get forward to much avail the remainder of the game.
In the second half, the Red peppered Collodi with eight shot attempts in search of a go-ahead, but a breakthrough never came. In overtime, the Red had more scoring chances and took all five shots. Just three minutes into the first overtime period, sophomore forward Matthew Goncalves forced Collodi to make a difficult save. Then, in the 106th minute, sophomore defender Kisa Kiingi rifled a shot towards the bottom left corner but was likewise refuted.
After 110 minutes of play, the rivalry clash ended with a 1-1 draw. Cornell finishes the season undefeated (6-0-2) at Berman Field. The Red have not been defeated on East Hill in 1,109 days, since the 2018 season.
The Red finalized an impressive fall campaign with a 11-3-2 (4-2-1 Ivy) record, good for third in the conference. Cornell had the fourth highest-scoring offense in the NCAA this season, averaging 2.5 goals per game. Still, the Red must have been missing something on its resume, because it was not enough for the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Soccer Committee to select Cornell for one of their 25 at-large bids.
Bagley paced the Red with 14 goals (first in Ivy), seven assists and 35 points. Senior forward Emeka Eneli finished with seven goals and seven assists, while senior midfielder Harry Fuller capped off his collegiate career with five goals and three assists.
Replacing this scoring production will be difficult next season, but the Red will return several key players on the backline. Sophomore defenders Kisa Kiingi, Henry Hylbert, Wilson Eisner, and Mateo Rodriguez played significant minutes and will return alongside junior keeper Brady McSwain, who started all 16 contests — conceding 1.19 goals per game and recording a 0.71 save percentage.
All told, the Red finished the season with its highest win percentage (0.75) since 2012.