The Cornell men’s soccer team defeated Binghamton last Wednesday, dominating the game to win 5-0. With this latest victory, the Red (5-0) has managed to remain undefeated as well as score at least one goal in each game for a record twenty-two times. This marks the first time that the consecutive goals scored record has been broken since the 1970-71 season, when the Red set the record at 21 consecutive games with a goal scored. This kind of record breaking might have seemed impossible before, but according to junior striker Daniel Haber, this season’s team is “special.”
“I don’t know if there’s a harder working team in the country,” he said. “We work[ed] hard through the spring every day, and we thought we had something special, and we knew we had to come out here and prove it every game.”
The team’s first goal came at the 26th minute of play, when sophomore defender Peter Chodas knocked in a shot from outside the penalty box. The goal came on a set play: Haber rocked a corner-kick into the center of the box, where it was headed away by a Bearcat defender, right in front of Chodas. Chodas didn’t hesitate, placing the ball just above the keeper’s arms to make the score 1-0 in Cornell’s favor.
Haber himself would answer with another goal just three minutes later. After receiving the ball in the penalty box from his teammate, Haber moved right around the Binghamton goalie to make the score 2-0.
“Goals come from great feeding from my teammates,” Haber said. “Both of the goals happened from great team efforts all of the way up the field. Everyone on the team has a role, and so far I’ve been able to do mine.”
From there the game just continued in Cornell’s favor, with Haber scoring another goal in the 69th minute and the team scoring two more to make the final score 5-0. According to head coach Jaro Zawislan, the Red could not have done a better job.
“I was very proud of this group of players for putting together a more complete performance today than in any game before this one,” Zawislan said. “We had to earn this result, and we did.”
The men’s soccer team plays again on Saturday against St. Joseph’s University, and Zawislan was quick to point out that the team’s performance this Wednesday did not mean it would automatically win this Saturday’s contest.
“We know that as good as a result we got today, next game we will have to be better because the rest of the country is getting better.” he said. “We’ll enjoy the result tonight, and tomorrow we get back to work. We can’t look back, we have to look forward.”
St. Joseph’s will not be an easy opponent for the Red, and the team will have to continue to work hard if it wants to maintain its winning streak, as well as pull off something equally as important that tends to go unnoticed by fans: a shutout. The Binghamton game was a Cornell shutout, which is indicative of both a strong offense and an unyielding defense. According to Zawislan, Cornell plays defense with the entire team —not just the back line — which is lead by veteran senior goalkeeper Rick Pflasterer.
“The defense is not just the goalie and the back four line, but the whole team,” Zawislan said. “We try to high-press the other teams, and that starts with our forwards. It goes through the midfielders and defenders, and Rick knows that on the rare occasion, he has to come up with a play to save the game.”
“Defense played great, we had good pressure all over the field, we did the right things to come out with the shutout and the win,” Pflasterer said.
If the Red can defeat St. Joseph’s, it will increase its chances of qualifying for the NCAA national tournament at the end of the season. Last year Cornell was not able to compete at the NCAA tournament, a fact that is propelling the team this year to work harder than ever in both its conference and out-of-conference games.
“Nothing will change in our attitude,” Haber said. “We’re going to come out and be the hardest working team for every game.”
The Red will play St. Joseph’s University in Ithaca this Saturday at Charles F Berman Field at 4 p.m.