After suffering its first loss last Tuesday against Vermont, men’s soccer (5-1, 0-0 Ivy) returned to its winning form with back-to-back wins against Niagara (1-5-1, 0-0 MAAC) and Canisius (1-3-3, 0-0 MAAC).
On Friday, Cornell headed up to Lewiston, New York to play the Purple Eagles. With a tough loss against Vermont behind it, the Red was looking to bounce back to its winning ways.
After six shots on goal in the opening 12 minutes, Cornell finally broke through when senior midfielder Brandon Morales scored off a pass from fifth-year forward Emeka Eneli. It was Morales’ first goal of the season.
The lead did not last long, however, as Niagara responded 89 seconds later to tie it at one apiece. It was a tense hour, as the Purple Eagles and the Red traded shot attempts, with neither being able to breach through the goal. In the 73rd minute, senior midfielder Noel Ortega came close to giving Cornell the lead, but Jamie Barry of Niagara just got to the ball, touching it with his fingertips.
With less than five minutes left in the game, Eneli setup Morales for the second time for Morales’ second goal of the night, giving Cornell a 2-1 lead.
The Red protected the lead by keeping Niagara in check for the next five minutes, preventing the Purple Eagles from recording a shot. The clock ran out, and Cornell narrowly-secured its fourth road victory in as many games. It marked the first time in 10 years that the Red won its first four road games.
After the tight win over Niagara, Cornell returned to Ithaca to face Canisius on Tuesday. The Golden seemed to be no match for the Red as Cornell won in an 8-0 rout.
Cornell’s 8 goals were the second highest total scored by the Red in a single game in program history. The only time the Red scored more was a 12 goal performance in the 1965 season opener against Syracuse.
Morales and sophomore forward Alioune Ka led the pack with five points each, while senior defender Connor Drought was not far behind with four points.
Ka got the ball rolling and scored by the ninth minute of the game. Five minutes later, Morales scored off a pass from Eneli. By the end of the first half, the Red already had five goals. After going into the second half, 5-0, the Red added on three more for good measure in the second half.
Freshman goal-keepers Ryan Friedberg and Evan Sims barely felt any pressure as the Golden Griffins only managed one shot on goal the entire night.
Cornell looks to keep up the momentum as it will head over to Poughkeepsie, New York to face Marist (4-1-1, 0-0 MAAC) at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.