The Cornell men’s soccer team fell to Brown this past Sunday, after the Bears buried a penalty kick 51 seconds into the second half, resulting in a 1-0 loss for the Red.
The Red (1-11-2, 0-4 Ivy) had a difficult first half, with zero shots on goal, compared to five shots by the Bears (7-6-1, 2-1-1 Ivy).
The amount of wind on Sunday made ball movement difficult for both teams.
“It was a very hectic game,” said junior centerback Allen Michael Capo. “That, mixed with the weather conditions and both teams trying to figure each other out definitely contributed to the lack of shots.”
Freshman goalie Ryan Shellow had two saves in the first half, keeping Cornell even with the Bears for the start of the second period.
Things turned a minute into the second half when Brown put away a penalty kick, giving the Bears a 1-0 lead. Head Coach John Smith said that the team’s attitude after the first goal was perfect.
“It was the response I have been looking for — we kept our composure and our discipline,” Smith said. “It was important that one goal did not quickly become two and three.”
The Red’s offense was sparked by the early goal. The team played even with the Bears during the second half, with both teams having five shots.
Capo explained that the team did not let the goal discourage them.
“If someone had walked into the stadium after the penalty was scored and they did not look at the scoreboard, they would not have known from our effort and demeanor that we were down 1-0,” he said.
The Red had two quality looks at the goal during the second half, the first coming from Capo in the 66th minute. Capo came back to assist the second shot on target, finding senior midfielder Madison Heck at the top of the box for a clear shot at the goal that was stopped in a one-handed save by the Bears.
“We do a good job of transitioning from defense to offense, so I think we just need to keep at it and the shots will come,” Capo said.
Still, the stronger finish was not enough for the Red to secure a win. Smith explained that the team was unfortunate because it was not awarded a penalty during the second half.
“We were very unlucky not to get something out of the game,” Smith said.
Capo agreed that the team played very well and should have come out with a win.
“Unfortunately, in the game of soccer sometimes one play can decide the game, so I think we were unlucky in the result we were dealt,” Capo said.
Despite the loss, Coach Smith said he was content with his team’s efforts.
“We were strong physically and we are quite often the fittest team on the field—which certainly helps us when we are pressing for a goal toward the end of a game,” Smith said. “There were also some good passing sequences throughout the game which is always nice to see.”
Capo said he hopes that the team will continue playing strong during the upcoming games.
“Moving forward, I think we need to take the positives from the Brown game and expand on those in practice,” Capo said. “If we do that, as well as have the right attitude and effort on Saturday, I think we will get a good result.”
Smith made it clear that despite the difficult season, the team is far from giving up.
“Hey, there are many teams across the nation right now that have already thrown the towel in—already checked out and moved on emotionally to other things,” he said. “I guarantee at training this week you will yet again see a group of guys who are committed and enjoying being out on the field with a soccer ball. “
The Red will continue Ivy League play against Princeton Saturday at home.