Men’s soccer maintains 3-0 winning streak in conference play with big revenge win over Cornell


Evan Hein

Nate Girard `23 winds up to kick in Grinnell men’s soccer’s game against Cornell College on Oct. 4. Grinnell won 4-2.

Taylor Nunley, Staff Writer

The Grinnell men’s soccer team had their retribution against Cornell College on Tuesday, Oct. 4 at Springer Field. It was Grinnell’s first time facing Cornell since their devastating loss at the Midwest Conference Tournament Semifinal in Nov. 2021. Yet, Grinnell did not despair. After a close first half, where both teams ended tied and a tense back-and-forth second period, the home team prevailed over the Rams with a final score of 4-2.

The men’s soccer team came out blazing in the first half, with Noah Guyton `23 scoring the first goal of the game within five minutes. Cornell’s team scored the following two goals, but Dylan Maddux `25 managed to tie it up through a penalty kick shortly after, setting the score at 2-2. It stayed that way until after halftime.

A brief stalemate occurred during the second half. “We kind of came out in the second half a little bit asleep,” said Guyton. “We weren’t really playing very well. We think they [Cornell] came out really strong, ready to play and we maybe weren’t.”

For a grueling 20 minutes, Grinnell attempted to break the tie. “I was a little scared for sure,” Guyton said, referring to the close calls Cornell had to score and Grinnell’s own lack of scoring. “But I think we’re kind of used to that. It’s just how a soccer game goes, it’s back and forth. And so we didn’t get down about that, and then we put away our chance when the time came.”

Maddux finally launched Grinnell into the lead with his second goal of the night. Ecstatic, the team embraced at the sidelines while the crowd, which had steadily grown throughout the game, erupted in cheers. “That was a big moment,” said Guyton. “We had been struggling for a little bit there and then that [goal] was important, I think, for the end of the game.”

Maddux also said that the fourth goal from Peter Murphy `25 “just kind of finished it off. And it was just a good moment. The game was kind of on the edge for a while.”

Murphy, just a few minutes after Maddux’s game-changing goal, cemented Grinnell’s spot as the victor at the Tuesday night game. Cornell, with its two goals in the first half, was completely shut off from scoring in the second half by goalkeeper Carter Benson `24.

Cornell tried to catch up to Grinnell’s two-point lead but failed. The final horn blew after the 90-minute mark, ending the game at 4-2 in another win for Grinnell.

For some of the players on the team, Tuesday’s game was personal. “Cornell beat us during the season last year as a team,” said Matias Bambi `23. “And then, obviously, they knocked us out of the Midwestern Conference (MWC) Tournament at the end of the year. So I think that it just felt a little extra good to show that we’ve come back stronger this year.”

And come back stronger, they have. With their win over Cornell College, the men’s soccer team moved to a 3-0 record in MWC play. In their previous game, Grinnell managed to upset Knox College, the defending MWC champion, from the comforts of their title. But despite these impressive victories and their overall four-game win streak, players emphasized being humble.

“It’s definitely a step in the right direction,” said Guyton. “Especially with two of those games being [against] better teams in our conference. We’re confident but not overconfident. We’re not expecting to win. We know we still have five games to play to win [the] conference. But it’s definitely three games in the right direction.”

“It’s also all the more rewarding,” said Maddux, “because towards the start we didn’t have the best debut of the season. We were kind of struggling, like losing some games we felt like we should have won. But we made some little tweaks to the system. And then the past four games, we’ve been playing really well and coming together. We’re looking very good to keep going on this run and hopefully win [the] conference.”

The men’s soccer team faced Beloit College on Saturday, Oct. 8, at Grinnell’s home field. Their next game is at Monmouth College, in Monmouth, Illinois, on Saturday, Oct. 15. Both games are part of the MWC season.