Berman Field — the sight of so many tragic losses last fall — will soon see some excitement again, as the reinvigorated men’s soccer team returns for its 2009 home opener this weekend. Cornell will travel to Buffalo for tonight’s faceoff with Canisius, then the Red will host St. Bonaventure two days later at 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Though Cornell (1-1-0 Ivy) dropped its season opener last Saturday, 2-1, to first year head coach Jaro Zawislan’s former team, Syracuse, it was a well-fought match that the Orange came from behind to win, and the Red rebounded with a 1-0 victory at Hartwick on Monday. St. Bonaventure (1-2-0 Atlantic 10) also dropped its season opener, falling hard at Cleveland St. last week, 3-0.
It’s back to the gridiron for us Cornellians, both as students and as fans of that great American tradition — football. But the NFL has been closer to Ithaca during the offseason than you might think.
The New York Jets came to nearby Cortland, N.Y., over the summer for training camp, staying in the area from July 31 to Aug. 22. With only one more game left on the preseason schedule before New York’s opener at Houston Sept. 13, the Jets named highly touted first-round draft pick Mark Sanchez as the starting quarterback just last week.
From Greek mythology’s heroic Herakles (the original World’s Strongest Man, a god among men) to Bill Clinton (who won a Rhodes Scholarship … though the former president’s greatest athletic achievement was probably a nice round of golf), history is full of “professional” athletes who became leaders of men in the arenas of both politics and sports.
Next Thursday, Cornell gets to play host to two of these characters.
Some things are sacred to a sports fan.
Whether it’s an object or an experience — from a cherished autograph to uninterrupted TV time when your team is playing — interfering in those things is not a good idea. Someone, however, did just that to me this week, and I’m mad as hell.
When I got my latest copy of Sports Illustrated in the mail earlier this week, it looked the same as always … on the surface. But as soon as I opened those glossy pages, I realized that something was terribly wrong.
SI had been redesigned seemingly overnight — more empty white space, less creative font choices — overall, way more boring, even jarring, to look at.
The Cornell baseball program has now come full circle. A year after finishing dead last in the Gehrig Division, the Red completed its comeback yesterday in shocking style: After one inning of hell for the visitors yesterday afternoon — when Cornell put nine runs on the Hoy Field scoreboard — the Red (16-21, 10-10 Ivy) won the one-game playoff with Princeton (18-19, 10-10), 9-0, to secure a spot in the Ivy League Championship Series at Dartmouth this weekend.
“To have nobody on base and have nine runs score with two outs at that point is really bizarre,” said Princeton head coach Scott Bradley. “You probably will never see something like that again.”
Yesterday afternoon, the men’s soccer team took the field for a normal spring semester training session, but something was different this time.
Junior forward Matt Bouraee observed a positive addition to the program — it concerned one of the most basic elements of training.
“Instead of [working on] fitness toward the end, where we run until we puke, he integrates our running into practice,”“Bouraee said. “Today, there were two games going on at the same time on different fields. Every time he blew the whistle, which was pretty often, we had to run from one field to another and then continue playing. … A lot of guys ran a lot more and got a good workout [that way].”
I’ve been looking forward to the Final Four and National Championship games all week (read: for the past year), but one of the most interesting pieces of information to appear on SI.com’s newsfeed this week has nothing to do with basketball: Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) presented a resolution on Wednesday calling for a presidential pardon for legendary heavyweight Jack Johnson.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with this man’s place in history — 100 years before Barack Obama was sworn into office as America’s first African-American president, Johnson became the first-ever black heavyweight champion. On Dec. 26, 1908, he beat Canadian champion Tommy Burns in Australia in a fight that went 14 rounds before being stopped by police. Johnson had as many haters as he had fans.
This afternoon at Niemand-Robison Field, the softball team looks to maintain its standing as the only Ivy League squad undefeated in conference action.
On a 10-game winning streak, Cornell (21-5, 2-0 Ivy) will host Yale (10-12, 1-1) today beginning at 12:30 p.m. The twinbill had been scheduled for Sunday — a day after the Red swept a doubleheader against Brown by a combined score of 17-0 to open its regular season — but was postponed due to the weather. [img_assist|nid=36397|title=Wave good-bye|desc=Junior Alyson Intihar hits the bag at Niemand-Robison Field. Intihar is the Red’s top hitter so far this season.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Of the 15 riders that the equestrian team brought to the Region III championships in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., on Saturday, a third of them advanced to the Zone II championships.
Of the seven divisions, the Red notched a Zone Qualifier in five of them.
With Skidmore hosting, the regionals opened with the Open Fences division, but a Cornell rider did not break the top-3 — necessary to advance to the Zone championships — until the next category: In Intermediate Fences, junior Brooke Cagwin took third.
Senior co-captains Dana Kendrick and Caroline Schulman moved on to the championship round of Open Flat competition. Schulman finished in seventh place, but Kendrick scored the regional reserve champion spot by placing second in the finals — moving on to the Zone championships.
Though the baseball team split its home-opening doubleheader against Brown on Saturday — facing its first conference foe of 2009 — there was a tangible feeling of celebration in the home team dugout at Hoy Field. After a crushing loss in Game 1, 10-2, Cornell relied on standout performances from both a rookie and a seasoned veteran, freshman right fielder Brian Billigen and senior shortstop Scott Hardinger, to take the back end of the doubleheader, 8-4.
“To beat a team as good as Brown after losing the first [game] shows the character of this team and shows that [Cornell’s players] are starting to figure out how to win,” said first-year head coach Bill Walkenbach, who tallied his first Ivy win on Saturday.
The sweet smell of victory couldn’t come soon enough for the Red.