Commerce City, Colo. - It may not be the biggest rivalry in college sports, but tomorrow's NCAA soccer match between Ivy League schools Cornell and Brown will be closely followed by the Rapids' Scott Palguta and Jeff Larentowicz, who graduated from the respective schools.
"When I was there it wasn't a rivalry, but at the moment it is because Cornell's undefeated and Brown is right behind them," Brown alumn Larentowicz told ColoradoRapids.com Friday. "They are the only two teams ranked from the Ivy League, so I think it's developed into a little bit of a rivalry."
"This year it looks like Cornell and Brown are far and away the best two teams in the Leauge, so it makes this game all the bigger," said Palguta, a Cornell alumn. "It's national bragging rights on top of just the League."
Cornell enters the match at 12-0-0 and ranked #10 in the nation. Browns comes in at 10-1-2 and ranked #18 nationally.
Palguta was a four-year started for the Big Red, playing 64 games and serving as one of the three captains in his senior year. Larentowicz made 66 appearances as a defender for Brown in his four years. Both players scored seven goals during their four year careers, and both keep up on their school's programs to this day.
"They've been fun to follow this year," said Palguta of the Big Red. "They're the only unbeaten and un-tied team left in Division I, have the second leading scorer in the country, and one of our Academy guys plays for them."
Larentowicz said he follows the Bears through the school's website, but he is also part of a network of former Brown soccer players who keep each other up to date via email.
In the Conference, Cornell are 3-0-0 and Brown is 2-0-1. A win by either team gets them one step closer to the NCAA College Cup.
"The Ivy League games are always competitive because there's no Conference Tournament," said Palguta. "So whoever wins the regular season gets the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament."
Brown leads the all-time series 35-19-5 and hasn't lost to Cornell since 1999. The schools tied 1-1 last year.
Saturday's match kicks off at 3:30 ET at Stevenson Field in Providence, Rhode Island.