March 22, 2011

Long Island Trio Leads No. 10 Cornell Over No. 12 Stony Brook

from press release

Cornell attackman David Lau sizes up the Stony Brook defense Tuesday. Lau was one of three Long Island natives with big games in the Big Red's 17-9 victory.

© Greg Shemitz

STONY BROOK, N.Y. – Long Island natives Rob Pannell, David Lau and Steve Mock returned home in style this evening as the attack trio combined for 13 goals, and 18 of the Cornell's 27 total points, to help the No. 10 Big Red defeat No. 12 Stony Brook, 17-9, at Lavalle Stadium. Cornell jumped out to a 7-1 lead midway through the second period and never looked back as it improved to 5-2 on the season with its second-straight victory over a ranked opponent. The Seawolves, on the other hand, dropped its second in a row to fall to 3-3 on the season.

Cornell, which improved to 5-0 all-time against SBU and won its 14th straight over an America East opponent, was led by Pannell's eight points (four goals, four assists). Lau was the team's leading scorer, with a career-high five goals and one assist, while Mock chipped in four goals for the second game in a row. Midfielder Roy Lang was also instrumental with a career-high three goals and one assist. Linemate Mike O'Neil added one goal and one assist, while JJ Gilbane and Mitch McMichael chipped in one assist apiece.

In addition to his one assist, McMichael was outstanding in the face-off circle, going 13-of-26 against preseason All-American Adam Rand. The second-ranked face-off man in the nation, Rand was held to well below his season winning average of 71 percent, finishing the day at 59 percent (13-of-22). McMichael finished with a game-high eight ground balls and caused two turnovers.

Defensively, Jason Noble picked up six ground balls and caused two turnovers, while Mike Bronzino finished with three ground balls and three caused turnovers. Netmider AJ Fiore had an outstanding night, as he posted nine saves, allowed eight goals, picked up three ground balls and caused one turnover. He was relieved with four minutes to play by Andrew West, who made one save and allowed one goal.

Stony Brook was led by Kevin Crowley's four points on two goals and two assists, while Tom Compitello and Russ Bonanno finished with three and two goals, respectively.

In goal, Rob Camposa struggled with just 10 saves and allowed 17 goals in 56:51 of action. John Bella came on in relief but did not face a shot.

The Seawolves held the slim edge in shots (34-33) and was a perfect 13-of-13 on clears, as opposed to Cornell's 17-of-19 performance, but the Big Red held a commanding 43-30 advantage on ground balls and turned the ball over four fewer times than SBU (18-14).

For the first time in nine games, Cornell did not register a man-up goal, technically going 0-for-2, despite scoring just moments after an SBU penalty expired, while the Seawolves converted on 1-of-3 chances.

McMichael set the tone for the game when he won the opening face-off. The teams traded turnovers before Lau picked up a loose ball, coming out of a scrum at midfield, streaked untouched to the cage, faked Camposa and beat the goalie down low to put Cornell up, 1-0.

Again McMichael won the face-off, and again the teams traded turnovers before Pannell drove down the left side and sent a cross-field pass to Lang, who ripped a shot from 15-yards out to put the visitors up, 2-0, at the 11:03 mark.

Rand won the restart on a procedure call, but a save by Fiore ended the Stony Brook threat and after a long offensive possession, Lau scored on a heads-up play as he recognized that his defender dropped his stick and rushed unobstructed towards goal before ripping a deep shot past Camposa.

SBU finally got on the board when an outstanding defensive stand was undone as Bonanno slipped his defender and blistered a shot into the upper right hand corner of the net to make it a 3-1 game with just over three minutes to play in the quarter.

Two great hustle plays put the Big Red up 5-1 at the end of the first quarter. The first goal came as a tenacious Cornell ride forced a turnover and Mock collected the ball near midfield and bounced a shot into the empty cage. The final goal of the quarter came when Pannell fought off three Stony Brook defenders on the endline to pick up a loose ball and passed off to Lau, who found O'Neil and the freshman midfielder ripped a shot from deep for his lone goal of the game.

The Big Red went man-down early in the second quarter, but Fiore made a great save to end the threat. The teams traded turnovers, the last of which led to a Cornell goal as a quick transition up field led to a mismatch and Pannell wrapped around the crease and beat Camposa low to make it a 6-1 game.

Pannell set up the next Cornell goal as a prolonged offensive possession ended as he came from behind the left side of the cage and hit Lang on the left wing. Lang sent another deep shot past Camposa to push the lead to 7-1 and cap a four-goal scoring run.

Compitello ended the Seawolves drought when a missed defensive slide found him all alone on the left side of the cage and he beat Fiore to cut the Cornell lead to 7-2.

The Big Red battled right back with three straight goals to push the lead to 10-2. The run began with a great individual effort from Lang, who face-dodged his defender with a big swim move and blasted a shot past Camposa. Pannell set up the next goal when he drew the double-team and found Lau all alone on the crease before Mock scored off a pretty pass from Austin.

McBride and Crowley teamed up to give SBU its final goal of the half, as Crowley found McBride all alone on the crease to make it a 10-3 game with just under one minute to play.

Rand won the ensuing face-off, but McMichael immediately forced a turnover to give the ball back to the Big Red for one final possession. After taking the clock nearly all the way down, a shot by Mock was saved by Camposa, but the ball squirted away and Pannell picked it off the turf and slipped it just inside the pipe with two ticks showing on the clock to send Cornell into the intermission with the commanding 11-3 lead.

Crowley scored early in the third quarter to make it an 11-4 game and Rand won the restart to give possession back to SBU, but Fiore intercepted a Seawolves' pass to send the ball the other way. The Big Red responded when Lang dodged past his defender, faked the shot and then dumped to Lau, who was all alone on the doorstep and scored.

The teams traded scores again when a Compitello goal from point-blank range was answered by a goal from Mock, who took a pass from O'Neil, and bounced a shot from Camposa to make it a 13-5 game at the 7:23 mark.

The Big Red pushed its run to three goals with scores from Lau and Pannell in a span of 1:27. Lau's tally came off a pass from Gilbane, who faked a shot and found Lau on the doorstep. Pannell's goal came on a great individual effort, as he broke through a double-team, got his hands free, and blasted a shot into the net.

A man-up goal by Bonanno made it a 15-6 game heading into the final intermission and the home team got its first back-to-back goals of the contest when Crowley scored with just under 12 minutes to play in the contest.

Just over one-minute later, Compitello snuck around the back of the net and beat Fiore to make it three in a row and cut Cornell's lead to 15-8 with 10:30 remaining.

Cornell responded with two-straight goals in under three minutes to push its lead to 17-8. The run opened just moments after SBU killed off a Big Red man-up opportunity when Pannell took a pass up top from McMichael and ripped a shot over Camposa's left shoulder. Cornell won the restart, thanks to a groundball from Noble, and the sophomore defender sent a long pass ahead to Pannell, who found Mock all along on the crease.

From there, the Big Red subbed liberally and a goal from SBU's Matt Bellando accounted for the 17-9 final.

Cornell returns to Schoellkopf Field to take on No. 13 Penn in a critical early-season Ivy League contest on Saturday, March 26 at 1 p.m.

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