The struggling men’s soccer team will play their third consecutive Ivy game on the road this Saturday against Cornell. The Bulldogs (1–9–1, 0–2–0 Ivy) will face the Big Red (4–3–4, 0–1–1) at Berman Field in Ithaca, N.Y.
The Elis, who haven’t recorded more than two goals in a single game all season, will look to step up their offensive game this weekend against a resilient Big Red defense that has held its opponents to less than two goals in all but two games thus far.
“We expect Cornell to be a very physical and direct team,” defender Chris Dennen ’12 said. “Ivy League games, regardless of the opponent, are always hard-fought competitive match-ups. We expect this game to be no different.”
Neither team has recorded an Ivy League win so far this season. The Bulldogs started conference play with a 1–0 loss two weeks ago against Harvard, followed by a loss to Dartmouth, 3–1.
Cornell is also coming off of two road games, first tying Harvard in double-overtime last week before beating Colgate 2–0 on Tuesday. The Big Red’s Chase Aaronson leads the team in goals, including his game-tying goal against the Crimson last week.
“Cornell has always been competitive against us,” Dennen said. “The last two years we have come out on top, but it was not easy.”
Big Red goalie Rick Pflasterer will be a tough match up for the Bulldogs. Opposing teams have only scored ten goals against the sophomore all season who has played in every minute of competition thus far.
The Bulldogs will also have to adjust to what might be a bigger and louder crowd this weekend than usual. Cornell has named Saturday “Break the Berman Record” night at Berman Field where fans are invited to come set a new attendance mark. The old record sits at 876, set against Brown in the Big Red’s 2001 season.
But the Elis will build on past experiences as they look to get their first road-win this season and Dennen said they have the preparation to do so.
“We have learned a lot about ourselves from the first two Ivy League games,” he said. “We know we must defend with more intensity and finish our chances when they present themselves up front. We have watched tape and worked to fix our mistakes in practice so we will be ready against Cornell.”
The Bulldogs have a 4–1–1 edge on the Big Red in their last six meetings and lead the overall series 40–23–14. Last year’s meeting at Reese Stadium ended with a thrill when Dennen scored with thirteen seconds remaining on the clock to lift the Bulldogs over the visiting team 4–3.
Face-off is slated for 7 p.m. in Ithaca, N.Y.