The Cornell men’s soccer team (1-9-2) is scheduled to face Yale (1-5-2) in their third Ivy League game of the season on Sunday at home.
The Red is coming off of their first win of the season against Colgate (8-4), a victory that according to Head Coach John Smith was much needed for the team’s confidence.
“The one way of getting belief is the end product of getting a win,” said Smith. “It’s the same in any sport.”
Junior centerback Allen Michael Capo agreed that the victory did a lot for the team’s confidence.
“The win against Colgate was huge,” he said. “They are a very good team; I think that win really showed people what our team is capable of.”
Now that the Colgate game is over, the Red has two practices to focus on their matchup with Yale. Smith explained that by looking at film, the team can get an idea of what their opponent is like, their tendencies, their strengths and weaknesses, and shape training sessions to capitalize during the game.
“We are preparing for Yale like any other game we have prepared for this season,” said Capo. “We work hard in practice and that translates directly into the game.”
Smith feels that the key to defeating Yale is doing a good job defensively, good ball movement, and doing a better job finishing in front of the goal. He noted that the Yale team has good goal scorers, is well organized, and is very well coached.
Capo believes that if the Red is aggressive from the start of the game, they will be able to pull out the win.
“If we come out firing right when the whistle blows, then I know we will get a positive result against Yale.”
Although teams often want to win conference games, the players go into each game with the same mindset.
“Coach Smith has done a phenomenal job mentally preparing us the same for each game all season, so our mindset for Ivy games are no different than that off out of conference games,” said Capo.
“I don’t think that you should look at it as being two seasons within each season,” Smith explained. “They’re all important. Every single game.”
Smith feels that the way the Red has handled the difficult season they’ve had so far says a lot about their potential.
“The team for the most part this year hasn’t given up in games that we’ve been down in,” he said. “We’ve kept fighting, and that’s the type of character you can build upon.”
Michael Capo noticed this same work ethic in the team, saying “No matter what obstacles we face during the game, I know that each and every player who is on the field will give 100% effort.”
Capo said that a win against Yale would be huge for a number of reasons.
“It would be our second win in a row, and once we get the taste of winning, our team is not going to want to stop,” he said. “The win would be our first Ivy win of the season, which would provide further momentum heading into the next Ivy game against Brown.”
The game will begin at 1 p.m. on Berman field.