ITHACA, N.Y.--With the temperature hovering around freezing, the Cornell soccer team romped past what appeared to be a congealed Harvard contingent, 3-0, last night at Schoellkopf Field.
The loss dropped Harvard's season mark to an even 2-2-1 (0-2 in the Ivies) and marked the second straight game that the Crimson had been shut out.
The booters could have picked any one of a number of excuses after last night's contest--a letdown from Wednesday's tremendous 0-0 deadlock with Hartwick, the eight-hour bus ride to Ithaca, or the unfamiliar astroturf and game time.
The artificial playing surface played an important part in the Big Red's first tally at 21:03 as captain John Duggan missed a high bouncing ball that Cornell forward Greg Penske alertly ran into. Penske then streaked down the middle of the field and beat a helpless Peter Walsh, who had come out to cut down the angle.
After the game, though, no one was looking at the external variables, "There's no excuse for the way we played," said defender Andreas Keller-Sarmiento.
"We looked terrible," said a disappointed coach George Ford after the game. "The zip that we had against Hartwick was just not there."
To add insult to injury, Cornell claimed that it hadn't played well. "We played much better against LIU and Oneonta," Cornell keeper Tom Ferry said. "Our defense was not kicking the ball that well, and the offense wasn't passing to feet."
The finger then can only point to the Harvard team, which came up short in two major areas last night. It did not control the middle of the field and more seriously, there was a lack of communication when Cornell challenged the ball.
The Crimson simply could not get out of each other's way, and at times the results were disasterous. With but 3:40 left in the first half and Harvard trailing by a goal, the defense found itself covering Penske two-on-one, while midfielder Peter Pakemen slipped down the right side of the field unmarked.
Penske simply flipped the ball to the fleet 5-ft., 5-in. sophomore, and Walsh found himself looking like General Custer again as Cornell went up, 2-0.
In the second half, things went from bad to worse as Ford desperately tried to find a combination that could get Harvard back in the game. The subs, though, had just as much trouble as the regulars, and another miscarriage of communication gave Cornell some icing at 72:48.
The loss definitely puts a damper on the Crimson Ivy and post-season hopes.
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