Sports

Bruno looks to kickstart offense against Ivy rival

The Crimson is two spots ahead of the Bears despite averaging less than a goal a game this season

By
Sports Staff Writer
Friday, October 18, 2013

The men’s soccer team continues its Ivy League schedule Saturday against rival Harvard in a game under the lights in Cambridge.  Bruno (3-5-3, 0-0-2 Ivy) is searching for its first Ivy League victory against a streaking Crimson (2-6-2, 1-1-0) fresh off a dramatic win against Cornell (6-3-3, 0-2-0).

The Bears currently sit sixth in the league, two spots behind the Crimson, with five games to play.

“We’ve been working on creating more chances in the attack,” said Head Coach Patrick Laughlin. “We’ve also been working on our general team shape and development, so that we can be a more offensive group.”

The squad will look to reenergize its offense against the Crimson, said co-captain Jack Kuntz ’14. The Bears have only netted two goals in their last three games.

“In the past couple of games we’ve been struggling to score,” Kuntz said. “We’ve been practicing well, and moving the ball well so hopefully against Harvard that will show.”

The striker partnership of Pepe Salama ’14 and Voltaire Escalona ’14 has been productive for the Bears, with each forward netting two goals apiece so far in Brown’s campaign. Leading scorer Tariq Akeel ’16 will also be called on to make plays in the offensive third.

Defensively, Bruno will continue to rely on backline leaders Alex Markes ’15 and Tim Whalen ’16 to stifle Harvard’s attack. The Crimson have struggled to net goals this season, averaging less than a goal a game.

“It will be a battle of the boxes,” Laughlin said. “Whoever can win … that battle inside the 18 (yard box) will win the game.”

The Bears midfield has been strong this season and will need to continue performing to challenge the Crimson, Kuntz said.

“If we can win the battle in the midfield, I think we’ll put ourselves in a really good position to get a win,” Kuntz said. “If we can continue to dominate in that area of the field, that will lead to creating more chances and getting a few more goals.”

Harvard’s record does not represent its quality, Laughlin said. “They’re a very competitive group this year,” he added. “(Harvard’s) record might not be the greatest, but they won an Ivy League game on the road already this year, and I think that they’re peaking at the right time, so we expect it to be a very difficult game.”

Laughlin said he expects his team to maintain intensity and focus for the entire 90 minutes.

“If we can score first, that will give us a boost,” Kuntz said. “That will be key to getting a win against Harvard.”

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