It didn’t take long for junior midfielder Scott Cady to get used to playing on the field again.
The forward who had been sidelined with a broken bone since the first game of the season scored the game’s lone goal with under 10 minutes left in the men’s soccer team’s game against the New York University Violets on Saturday, propelling UR to a 1-0 victory and a 2-0 conference record going into more University Athletic Association competition this weekend.
‘Being my first game back, I was really excited to just play, and my leg felt really good,” Cady said. ‘I just need to get back to full fitness so I can play more.”
The goal was set up by junior defender Phil Proud’s corner kick less than a minute after NYU was issued its second yellow card of the match.
In 90 minutes of play, a total of four yellow cards were issued and 33 fouls were committed both testaments to the physicality of play throughout the match.
In the first half, NYU dominated the match, forcing junior goalie Michael Peacock and the UR defense to have to be particularly sharp.
‘The first half was all about tough, defensive effort,” UR head coach Chris Apple said. ‘We were gritty, and we were determined.”
The Violets took eight shots and earned three corner kicks in the first 45 minutes, and Peacock made two saves before halftime to keep the game in a scoreless tie.
‘We dug in and fended them off, which was really good to see in this team, because to win a UAA championship and to be a great team, you’ve got to be tough defensively,” Apple said. ‘We really showed that against NYU.”
In the second half, UR picked up the offensive pressure. Thanks to quicker passing and a stronger presence controlling the ball, the ‘Jackets were able to gain an edge over NYU.
‘I think the difference between the first half and the second half of Saturday’s game was just a matter of settling into the game,” Cady said. ‘We knew that they would come out hard, and it would be fast paced to start, and we did well to weather the storm early on. Then, in the second half, we got into a rhythm and really started to play.”
UR had seven shots five of which were on goal and a handful of other good scoring opportunities.
‘We created some great chances and could have probably had two or three in the second half,” Apple said.
Both Cady and Peacock were mentioned on the UAA Honor Roll this week for their performances against NYU.
The win pushed UR’s overall record to 8-1-2 and gave the ‘Jackets momentum for their UAA road trip this weekend, where they will take on Carnegie Mellon University and the undefeated Emory University Eagles.
The Eagles were ranked No. 9 in the most recent National Soccer Coaches Association of America national poll, while the ‘Jackets moved up one spot to No. 18. Both teams remain as the only unbeaten teams in the UAA.
‘We’re going to be doing two things all week [to prepare for the weekend],” Apple said. ‘We’ll be trying to get better at what we do and, at the same time, preparing for taking away what [Emory and Carnegie Mellon] do well and capitalizing on what we see as their weaknesses.”
The game at NYU marked the start of a four-game road trip for the ‘Jackets.
After this weekend, UR will travel to Kean College on Oct. 26 before returning to Fauver for a Halloween match-up against Washington University in St. Louis, currently ranked No. 21 in the NSCAA poll.
But according to Apple, playing on the road doesn’t faze his team.
‘It’s not a road game or a home game,” Apple said of his team’s demeanor on the road. ‘It’s a match, and we are prepared for the match.”
The ‘Jackets first conference match-up was against the Judges of Brandeis University on Oct. 4, and UR came away victorious, relying on the offensive efficiency of junior forward J.J. Dennstedt’s in a 3-0 victory. Dennstedt scored two goals in the game and leads the team with six goals on the season.
He was also mentioned on the UAA Honor Roll for the week of Oct. 6 for his strong performance.
The other goal was scored when a Brandeis defender attempted to clear a cross sent into the box by sophomore midfielder Steve Welles, but instead he put it into his own goal.
Peacock was not required to make a save in the game.
The past two weekends as a whole have demonstrated UR’s worthiness in a league that is in no way short of talent. The true test, however, will be if the ‘Jackets’ momentum will be sustained this weekend.
Last year, the Yellowjackets posted wins over both Emory and Carnegie en route to the UAA title. Versus Emory, UR finally got the better of the Eagles after over 105 minutes of play, notching a 1-0 win with a double overtime score.
Against Carnegie Mellon, the ‘Jackets pulled out a 2-0 victory thanks to goals from senior midfielder Sean Hantes and Welles.
And the ‘Jackets are hopeful that they can mirror that success this weekend.
‘We gained a lot of confidence from [our win this past weekend], and hopefully we can win our next two games and be in a really good position going into the last few games of the season,” Cady said. ‘So, I think the team focus is just to keep doing what we have been doing.”
Hilfinger is a member of the class of 2010.