April 9, 2011

Cornell Claims Share of Ivy Title with Wild Win

from press release

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A disastrous third quarter and a wild fourth quarter was salvaged when David Lau found the back of the net with 1:18 left on the clock, and senior defender Max Feely sealed the 13-12 victory when he intercepted a Harvard pass with time winding down to keep the Big Red men's lacrosse team undefeated in Ivy League play. Cornell improved to 8-2 overall and 4-0 in the conference, while the Crimson slipped to 6-4 overall and 1-2 in the Ivy League. With Penn's loss and Yale's victory, the Big Red has claimed a share of its ninth-straight Ivy League title, with a chance to win it outright against Brown on April 23.

Lau finished the game with a career-high eight points with five goals and three assists, while Steve Mock chipped in three goals, two of which came in the crucial fourth quarter. Jack Dudley had one of his best games of the season with two goals and one assist and Rob Pannell finished with a pair of goals. Mike O'Neil was the only other Big Red player with a multi-point game, finishing with one goal and one assist.

In goal, AJ Fiore made eight saves and allowed nine goals in 40:53 before Andrew West came on in relief. The rookie netminder finished with three saves and allowed three goals to earn his first career victory. Crimson goalie Harry Krieger stopped 14 shots in the loss.

Harvard was led by Ryan Stevens and Kevin Vaughan with four and three goals, respectively, while Dean Gibbons handed out three assists. Jeff Cohen had his 34-game point scoring streak ended by the Cornell defense.

Cornell held the edge in shots (48-35), and face-offs (16-of-28), but Harvard had more ground balls (35-27). The Big Red cleared the ball successfully, 19-of-20 times, while forcing failed clears on 15-of-20 Harvard attempts. Cornell scored on 1-of-3 extra-man opportunities, while the Crimson converted 2-of-4.

In a game that featured five ties after halftime, the Big Red dominated the first four minutes of play, taking 10 shots and putting three on goal, but it wasn't until Lau dodged past his defender and scored from the doorstep that Cornell cracked the scoreboard at the 6:11 mark.

Just over two minutes later, Lang used a tremendous effort, splitting two defenders and dumping to Mock on the doorstep, and the sophomore attackman put the Big Red up, 2-0.

The teams went into the first break with Cornell clinging to the slim two-goal lead, but just 1:36 into the second quarter, the Big Red doubled its score, going up 4-0 on goals from O'Neil and Dudley.

The Crimson finally got on the board at the 12:13 mark of the second quarter when Vaughan beat his man and scored on the run to make it a 4-1 game.

A man-up goal from Stevens made it a two-goal game once again, but Pannell answered almost immediately as he rolled around the cage and ripped a shot just under the crossbar to make it a 5-2 game with less than 10 minutes to play in the opening half.

Vaughan scored a nearly identical goal to his one earlier in the quarter, but neither team could find the back of the net the rest of the way and Cornell took the 5-3 lead into halftime.

A pointblank save on Mock by Krieger to open the third quarter was answered by two quick goals by the Crimson to knot the game at 5-5. Stevens scored first with a worm-burner from up top before Eipp scored on the doorstep for the equalizer.

Harvard won the restart but a nice save by Fiore sent the ball the other way and Cornell converted when Lau took a pass from O'Neil and sent a bullet past Krieger to restore the 6-5 lead to the Big Red at the 10:38 mark.

Less than three minutes later, the Crimson knotted the game for a second time on a goal by Vaughan and then took its first lead of the game with a man-up goal by Stevens with 6:45 to play in the quarter.

A pair of goals 10 seconds apart by Jack Doyle and Stevens stretched the Harvard lead to 9-6 at the 4:07 mark and drove Fiore from the game.

A man-up goal by Lau, off a brilliant pass from Mitch McMichael, ended a 7:30 Cornell scoring drought, but neither team scored again and the teams went into the final break with Harvard leading, 9-7.

Back-to-back goals by Mock in the first two minutes of the final period tied the game at 9-9. Both goals were scored on the doorstep, with the first coming off a pass from Dudley and the second off a pass from Lau.

Matt Hull returned the lead to Harvard and Alex White made it 11-9 at the 9:54 mark but just over one minute later, the game was tied again at 11-11 as Dudley and Pannell answered for the Big Red.

Hull took a pass from Gibbons on the doorstep and put the home team back up, 12-11, with just over five minutes remaining in the contest but McMichael won the restart for Cornell and moments later Lau collected a ground ball, off a save by Krieger, and beat the goalie down low to tie the game again at 12-12.

Cornell will face its toughest test to date as it travels up I-81 to take on No. 1 Syracuse on Tuesday, April 12 in the Carrier Dome. The game, which will be broadcast locally by Time Warner Sports, is slated to start at 7 p.m.

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