March 2, 2013

Cornell Offense Comes Out Flying, Crushes Colgate

by Will Cleveland | | Live Blog Replay

Rob Pannell put together a seven-point effort in Cornell's rout of Colgate. Raiders star Peter Baum, meanwhile, was held goal-less for the first time in 21 games.
© Greg Wall

ITHACA, N.Y. — The senior attack tandem of Rob Pannell and Steve Mock combined for seven goals and five assists as the seventh-ranked Cornell men's lacrosse team secured a 19-3 win over No. 11 Colgate Saturday in a non-conference matchup at Cornell's snowy Schoellkopf Field.

The Big Red (3-0) jumped out to an 8-0 lead after the first quarter. The Cornell defense limited Colgate senior Peter Baum, the reigning Tewaaraton Award winner, to one assist and ended his consecutive games with a goal streak at 21.

"You've got to give all the credit to Cornell," said second-year Colgate coach Mike Murphy as his team dropped to 3-1. "They came out flying. It was a battle of two teams and I think the other one just wanted it a lot more than the other one. I was very, very impressed with Cornell. Coach (Ben) DeLuca does such a great job with his guys. They were ready to go. They didn't care about the weather, they didn't care about anything. All they cared about was getting the 'W.' You've got to respect that."

Pannell finished with two goals and five assists and Mock matched a career-high with five goals as the Red completed its strenuous first week of the regular season with wins over Hobart (19-11), Binghamton (11-6), and Colgate (19-3).

The Red dominated possession in the first quarter, effectively shutting down the potent Colgate attack with great close pressure. Colgate last lost by 16 goals in an 18-2 loss to Hobart in 1992.

"I am not sure what to say. I am extremely proud of our guys," DeLuca said. "The work ethic today was tremendous, nothing short of tremendous. The way that they prepared on a quick turnaround, the way that they executed the game plan for the entire game from start to finish, our coaching staff is incredibly proud. You've got to give a tremendous amount of credit to our coaching staff."

The offensive depth and balance of the Big Red shined through in the first half. Cornell built an 11-0 lead midway through the second quarter before the Raiders finally broke through on a goal from sophomore midfielder Conor Braddish.

The last time Colgate gave up eight goals in a quarter was in an 18-10 loss to Maryland in the last game of the 2010 season. And the last time the Raiders were shut out in a quarter was during a 7-0 quarter in the 2012 NCAA quarterfinal loss to Duke.

Pannell paced the Cornell offense in the first half. He finished with one goal and four assists in the first quarter. Connor Buczek, Max Van Bourgondien, and Mike O'Neil each added two goals and one assist and Mock chipped in one goal for the Red.

Behind a stifling effort from senior defenseman Jason Noble, Cornell held Baum scoreless and pointless in the first half.

The one-sided nature of the game, especially in the first half, surprised most involved.

"I don't think we expected that at all," DeLuca said. "You go in hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst."

The game plan impressive, but the execution was even better as the Red had 10 different goal-scorers, went 3-for-5 on man-up opportunities, won 16 of 25 faceoffs, and limited Baum to just one point.

"I don't think we expected that at all."

— Cornell coach Ben DeLuca of the lopsided result

"It was definitely a challenge," Noble said. "Peter Baum is a great player, but having six other guys out there, starting with A.J. [Fiore] in net, is huge for us. A.J. provides communication in the backbone of the defense. Working with guys like Tom Freshour, Jordan Stevens, Mike Bronzino, Thomas Keith, they are there to help you, there to bail you out. It wasn't a solo performance, me vs. Peter Baum. I feel like it was a team against him and against their offense. We prepared well and our scout gave us a great look during the week."

Fiore, Cornell's senior goalie, recorded 15 saves in the first 55 minutes to earn the win. Noble created three turnovers to pace the defense.

It was a standout performance for each unit of the Red. The potent attack demonstrated its depth and explosiveness, while the midfield, which entered the season as one of the biggest question marks, continued to shine. Van Bourgondien, O'Neil, and Buczek were especially strong for the Red, combining for seven goals and four assists.

"I think you saw today the depth of our offense," Pannell said. "We have two strong midfield lines, led by Max, who had a great day. Mike O'Neil did a great job today, coming out and scoring his first couple of goals. Connor Buczek and those guys on the second line did as well. A lot of guys stepped up today. I was getting shut off. I wasn't going to try to push it too much. I just let the game come to me and let other guys who are certainly capable of making plays do what they do on an everyday basis."

The Red won't have much time to enjoy this one as it travels to Buffalo Tuesday to face Canisius. Colgate, meanwhile, plays at Hobart Tuesday afternoon.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the length of Peter Baum's goal-scoring streak entering Saturday's game. It was 21 games, not 29.

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