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Men's soccer draws with Cornell in hard-fought game

<p>Freshman Walker Gillespie, Ivy player and rookie of the week.</p>
<p>Photo credit: GoPrincetonTigers.</p>

Freshman Walker Gillespie, Ivy player and rookie of the week.

Photo credit: GoPrincetonTigers.

After a victory over Virginia Tech on Oct. 29, Princeton men’s soccer (10–3–2 overall, 2–1–2 Ivy) stayed home on Saturday, Nov. 2 to play the Cornell Big Red (8–5–2, 1–2–2). A goal from first-year forward Walker Gillespie in the 8th minute was matched by a goal from Cornell midfielder John Scearce in the 67th minute, and the game ended in a 1–1 draw, which left Princeton at third in the Ivy League Men’s Soccer standings. 

The game began with some difficulty for Cornell, with four fouls before Princeton’s goal. Gillespie’s goal — which was headed in with assistance from junior midfielder Frankie DeRosa and junior midfielder and forward Kevin O’Toole — marked the first shot of the game. A shot from Cornell in the 11th minute was blocked by junior goalie Jack Roberts. Princeton retained control of the ball with a shot from junior defender Richard Wolf that was blocked by Cornell goalie Ryan Shellow and a shot from sophomore midfielder Moulay Hamza Kanzi Belghiti that went high. 


Strong defense from Princeton kept Cornell from scoring, although two shots were made in the 20th minute. The first, from Scearce, was blocked, and the second, from Griffin Garrard, was saved by Roberts. Princeton soon retained control of the ball with a shot in the 24th minute, which went wide. 

Cornell then upped their offensive, with five more shots before the end of the first half. A yellow card to Gillespie marked Princeton’s struggle to retain control of the ball. The rest of the first half represented a fairly well-matched struggle between Princeton and Cornell, however, and no more goals were scored. The first half ended with eight shots from Cornell and four from Princeton, as well as nine fouls to Cornell and eight to Princeton. 

The second half began with a shot from Princeton’s Gillespie, which went wide. Cornell’s offense then took control, with five shots to Princeton’s three before Scearce scored a header goal in the 67th minute, with assistance from Connor Drought and Jonah Kagen. The game remained at a draw until the end of the period, despite two more shots from Cornell and three from Princeton. 

The game then lapsed into two overtime periods, both of which were fruitless. The first overtime period saw four shots from Princeton, while the second overtime period saw three shots from Princeton and two from Cornell. None of the shots resulted in a goal. The game ended in a draw, with Cornell overshooting Princeton 19–18. Cornell also received more fouls, with 21 to Princeton’s 13. 

Looking forward, the team will travel to Philadelphia on Nov. 9 to take on the University of Pennsylvania’s Quakers, in what will be both their second-to-last game and second-to-last Ivy League game, with Yale rounding out the season on Nov. 16. Two Ivy League games back-to-back puts a lot of pressure on the team, and will determine the Tigers’ final conference standings.