In front of a packed Berman Field on Saturday, Sept. 30, men’s soccer (3-2-2, 0-0-2 Ivy) welcomed Brown (2-4-2, 1-0-1 Ivy) on the same day as football’s Homecoming game. Coming into the match, the Bears sat on top of the Ivy League standings following its win over Columbia.
Despite Brown having the hot hand, Cornell was in control for the majority of the game. But as has been a trend in recent weeks, the Red was not able to break down Brown’s low block. After Cornell took the lead in the first half, the Bears responded in the 54th minute, and the teams ultimately drew, 1-1.
The Red started out the game dominating possession, controlling the ball and limiting Brown’s opportunities. It was Cornell’s high press, however, that allowed it to strike first. In the 18th minute, senior striker Matthew Goncalves deflected a errant kick from Brown goalkeeper Henrik Wieper, before recovering the ball and sliding a pass to freshman striker Alex Harris to finish into an open net.
Harris’ quick reaction to the situation, and the unselfish pass from Goncalves, which turned an excellent chance into a nearly unmissable one, highlighted the relationship between the two that has represented the majority of Cornell’s offense so far this season. Harris’s goal was his sixth of the season, and returned him to the top of the Ivy League points chart, while Goncalves has two goals and two assists, both to Harris.
“Alex is an incredibly talented player and that was clear to everyone in the first week of captain’s practices,” Goncalves said. “Him and I have complimenting styles on the field which helps, but we are still continuing to grow together as a partnership.”
Aside from capitalizing on this mistake, Cornell’s attack looked toothless for the majority of the game, managing 12 total shots with just two on target. This was not for a lack of opportunities, as has been the case in recent weeks. The Red generated many good chances but was unable to finish, with Harris and junior forward Danny Lokko in particular failing to capitalize on multiple occasions.
Brown, on the other hand, was much more clinical. Although the Bears only managed three total shots, two were on target, including a 54th minute penalty from Kojo Dadzie that beat sophomore goalkeeper Ryan Friedberg and leveled the game at 1-1.
The Red has already given up three penalties this season, a trend that has seen the team drop points at crucial moments. Throughout the rest of the game, Cornell kept Brown under siege, but could not find the tiebreaker, and the game ended in a draw.
This result leaves the Red in fourth place in the Ivy League table, with two points, while Brown is in third with four points. For senior midfielder Kisa Kingii, this placement does not match Cornell’s aspirations for the season.
“We have our minds set on winning the Ivy League and then the National Championship,” Kingii said. “We know winning the Ivy is not easy, as every game is a battle, but we are very capable and determined to do so.”
Cornell plays next on Tuesday, Oct. 3, when it hosts the University at Albany (4-5-1, 0-1-1 America East). The match will take place at 7 p.m. at Berman Field, and will be streamed live on ESPN+.