Julia Nagel/Sun Photography Editor

Despite a strong offensive performance, the Red lose to UMBC, 2-1.

September 18, 2023

Men’s Soccer Falls Short Against UMBC in a Penalty-Filled Contest

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No. 25 men’s soccer (2-2, 0-0 Ivy) traveled to Baltimore last weekend to take on perennial America East contender University of Maryland Baltimore County (3-1-1, 0-0 America East). In what was an extremely scrappy game, the Red had trouble breaking down the Retrievers in front of a raucous home crowd. 

Throughout the first half, both teams showed lots of energy but little team cohesion. Each side committed seven fouls, three of which resulted in yellow cards, but only combined for three shots on target in open play. UMBC came out of the half on top, as Wilson Eisner’s foul in the box resulted in a Retriever penalty, which Taylor Calheira slid past sophomore goalkeeper Ryan Friedberg. 

In the second half, the Red began to put some significant pressure on its opposition. Focusing its play down the middle, Cornell midfielders found freshman striker Alex Harris in space on multiple occasions. 

Coming off a superb performance against Canisius that earned him an honorable mention for Ivy League player of the week, Harris had four shots on the day, with three on target. After a bad foul on senior striker Matthew Goncalves, Harris converted a penalty of his own to tie the game. Goncalves was excellent on the day, notching five shots, with three on target. 

Just 50 seconds later, however, UMBC would retake the lead, converting on yet another penalty kick. The noise following the goal was deafening, as the near 2,000 strong crowd sought to fire the Retrievers to the finish line. 

The rest of the game was dominated by Cornell, which controlled possession and constantly probed the deep block presented by UMBC, but to no avail. Goncalves, junior forward Alioune Ka and freshman midfielder Connor Miller put pressure on the Retriever’s backup goalkeeper Emigdio Tormo Lopez, who racked up seven saves. Despite UMBC going down to 10 men after a late red card to striker Alek Wroblewski, Cornell fell short, 2-1. 

Cornell returns home to Berman Field for the first time this season on Tuesday, Sept. 19 against reigning national champions No. 7 Syracuse. The game will take place at 7 p.m. and will be streamed live on ESPN+.