MEN’S SOCCER | No. 16 Cornell too strong for the Elis

No. 16 Cornell proved to be too strong for the Elis, as it defeated Yale 3-0 last Saturday.
No. 16 Cornell proved to be too strong for the Elis, as it defeated Yale 3-0 last Saturday. Photo by Graham Harboe.

The Elis had no luck once again in the Ivies last Saturday, falling to No. 16 Cornell by 3-0.

Despite the Big Red’s potent offense, the Bulldogs (3-6-3, 0-2-1 Ivy) were able to hold Cornell (12–0, 3–0 Ivy) off in the first half, allowing them only eight shots. But the story changed in the second half, when the Big Red took control — scoring three goals — and the Bulldogs’ weak offense struggled to reciprocate.

“We have good opportunities, but the concentration and execution haven’t always worked out. The psychological side of it begins to take a toll after a while,” head coach Brian Tompkins said.

Cornell, which started its Ivy League season with three goals in each of its first three games, turned it up in the second half, almost doubling their shots — 15, compared to eight in the first half — and taking three corner kicks to Yale’s 0. Tompkins noted Cornell’s ability to turn even passive situations into dangerous ones.

“They don’t need a clear-cut opportunity to score,” he said. “They’re one of the best offensive teams in the country.”

The Big Red were led by high-scoring Daniel Haber, who was involved in all three goals scored on Saturday. Haber took the free kick that led to Cornell’s first goal off a header by Tyler Regan (63:56) and he was assisted on the second goal by Atticus DeProspo (75:25), before calling his own number at 81:25 to put the finishing touch on a well-rounded effort.

Haber leads the nation in goals per game, spearheading a powerful Cornell offense that also holds the record for goals per game.

Bulldog captain and goalkeeper Bobby Thalman ’13 had a successfull first half, making six saves as the team wore down its opposition with good ball movement. Thalman cited previous experience against Cornell as key to his preparation, noting the importance of “staying alert even when the team has the ball in order to organize the defense.”

According to defender Nick Alers ’14, who was out with a concussion, the team played a new formation on offense, hoping to open up new goal-scoring opportunities.

“Unfortunately, nothing’s working right now,” he said. “We’ll continue to tinker and hopefully the end result will be more chances, [because] we’re just not providing the midfielders with enough options”.

After falling to an Ivy powerhouse, Tompkins pointed out that the Bulldogs’ schedule was shifting in the team’s favor. After being on the road the last three games, the Bulldogs have their next three at home, where Thalman hopes the familiar environment will help them with their struggling offense.

“It will be a huge advantage playing at home,” Thalman said. “Not only having the familiarity factor and not having to travel, but the general feeling of being more confident and knowing what we’re getting into, and also to have all of our home fans motivating us.”

The Elis will take on Lehigh at the Reese Stadium tonight at 7 p.m.

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