Conor Goepel scored in double OT with a header.

Editor’s Note: This story was written by and republished with the permission of the Big Red Sports Network, which provides excellent Cornell sports coverage throughout the year for alumni, parents, students and fans everywhere.

Cornell soccer’s 1-0 win in double OT

Ithaca, N.Y. — After 106 minutes of gritty, physical soccer, there were plenty of tired legs amongst the players from Cornell and Lafayette.

Fortunately for Cornell, the legs of two of their players — Peter Chodas and Conor Goepel — kept churning until the ball was in the back of Lafayette’s net.

With four minutes left in the final overtime period, Chodas, surrounded by two Lafayette defenders, somehow managed to win the ball and send a lovely cross into the box. A perfectly timed leap by Goepel, combined with a quick flick of the head, and Cornell had its first win of the season in an important home opener.

“As time goes on, our team really comes together,” said Chodas after the match. “We don’t fade, and we seem to get stronger as the game progresses.”

Conor Goepel scored in double OT with a header.

The defense

The real strength for the Big Red in the victory came from a defense that bent, only briefly for one ten minute stretch, but did not break.

Anchored by a very vocal and inspiring performance from senior captain Devin Morgan, Cornell’s backline held strong for the third time this season.

Freshman Eric Nuss was a big part of the shutout, as he played aggressive defense and consistently got forward, with one run even leading to a favorable scoring chance.

As good as Cornell’s back four were, however, senior goalkeeper Zach Zagorski shined just a bit brighter in his second clean sheet of the season.

With two crucial, highlight-worthy saves in the waning minutes of regulation, and six saves overall, Zagorski carried the Big Red into the overtime periods.

“Everybody did their job today on the defensive side of the ball, and Zach had a great match,” coach Jaro Zawislan said post-victory. “I am very proud of our players for executing the game plan so well.”

While coach Jaro urged his team not to become complacent, especially with a tough weekend match against Binghamton looming on Saturday, the Big Red were still able to enjoy their win, even just for one night. For Cornell, it was good to be back home.

NOTES: Defender Zach Bialik received a yellow card late in the second half of regulation. Cornell is now 1-1-1 overall; 0-0-0 in the Ivy League. Up next for Cornell is a matchup with the Bearcats in Binghamton, with kickoff slated for 7:00.

This story was written by and republished with the permission of the Big Red Sports Network.

Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.