April 27, 2013

Moody and Toppe Help Cornell Top BU in Thriller

from press release

ITHACA, N.Y. – An offensive slugfest broke out on Senior Day, and the Big Red got gigantic efforts from members of each class to claim a 18-17 victory against Boston University at Schoellkopf Field on Saturday afternoon.

"It's been a while since I coached a game like this," Cornell coach Jenny Graap said. "It was super exciting. ... Can't get much more exciting than this."

Senior goalie Courtney Gallagher made six saves, including four in the second half as Cornell came back from a two-goal deficit late, while classmate Caroline Salisbury scored three times and earned a career-best eight draw controls to break the single-season school record for draw controls in a season by one (48).

Junior Rachel Moody had a career-high five goals including the Big Red's 16th and 17th.

Sophomore Lindsay Toppe had a four-goal outing for the eighth time this season, scoring the game-winner with 2:21 left to move up to second on the single-season Cornell record book with her 47th goal of the year.

And freshman Emily Tripodi broke the Cornell single-season record for assists. Her six assists on Saturday – a number she also reached on Tuesday against Binghamton to tie the school record for a single game – gave her 36 on the year, two ahead of the 34 assists by Courtney Farrell '08 in 2007.

The Big Red (10-5) finished its regular season in entertaining fashion, scoring a season-high 18 goals against the Terriers (6-9).

"Today's game was a crowd-pleaser," Cornell coach Jenny Graap said. "I'm really happy with the offense. We stayed composed."

The Big Red will now enter the postseason, facing No. 16 Penn in the Ivy League Tournament semifinal at Franklin Field on Friday at 3 p.m.

But before the team reached the postseason, it bolstered its NCAA resume with a win against the Terriers, a win in which neither team held a lead larger than three goals.

With the Big Red holding a 14-13 lead, Boston University scored the game's next three goals to go ahead 16-14. Danielle Etrasco, who was second in the nation in goals per game entering Saturday, had the Terrier's 16th goal. It was the team's first two-goal lead since 12-10.

Cornell, though, fought back with the next four including two by Moody, both assisted by Toppe. Amanda D'Amico had her third goal of the game on an assist by Salisbury to make it 16-15, and Moody got the tying goal next with 12:19 left. Seven minutes went by before Moody struck again on an assist from Tripodi, giving Cornell a lead with 5:23 left.

Four of Moody's five goals in the game were assisted by Tripodi.

"We saw what worked against the defense, and it happened to be Trip feeding to me from behind," Moody said. "We were just on today, me and Trip." "As a freshman, especially, she has great vision. We practice a lot together, and I think that just works. She sees me and she knows when to feed it."

The Big Red got possession again and wound down the clock, forcing the Terriers to come out and pressure. Toppe brought the ball to go and found an open net, as BU goalie Kim Elsworth had left her cage to put pressure on. Toppe gave the Big Red its 18th goal, the one that would prove to be the game winner.

Gallagher then made a save with two minutes left on the other end, frustrating BU when it had a free position opportunity.

"She made some big saves when we really needed it," Moody said. "The other team thinks they're going to score on those, and then Courtney makes a big stop. That's just what we need to get the ball back in our attacking end."

Other numbers of note in the game include D'Amico's 50th career point, Gallagher's 1,000th career minute and Sarah Hefner's 25th goal. D'Amico finished the day with three goals and three ground balls. Kelly Lang added four draw controls for Cornell.

All six Big Red seniors started, including Veronica Lizzio – playing in just her sixth career game – Lauren Halpern, Salisbury, Gallagher, Lang and Ivory.

"The win is super important for the seniors," Moody said. "It was a tough game, there was a lot of scoring, and we had to fight for it to the end. ... It would have been such a bummer to have lost on Senior Day, and I think we needed that, especially going into the Ivy Tournament."

The win gives Cornell 10 on the year for the second consecutive season and is Cornell's second straight win against BU. Cornell finishes the year at home with a 6-1 mark and improved to 12-7 against teams from the America East Conference all-time.

The teams played an incredible offensive first half, with the Terriers and Big Red tied at 12-12 at the end of it. Goalkeepers combined for just six saves on 30 shots on goal, and the Big Red was on pace to break the school record for goals in a game at that point.

Salisbury had three goals at halftime, Tripodi had three assists, and three other Big Red players had two goals apiece. Salisbury also had five draw controls for Cornell, though it was being out-drawn 14-11.

Cornell took an 8-5 lead just 13 minutes into the game, but the Terriers had the next four goals to make it 9-8. Cornell re-tied the game at 9-9 with 13 minutes left in the half as D'Amico stole a Boston University pass out of midair, raced up the field and buried the ball in the back of the net.

The Terriers went ahead 11-9, though, and Cornell managed to pull even again on a Moody goal with 13 seconds left on the scoreboard to set up the dramatic second half.

The Big Red will begin its postseason with the Ivy League semifinals at Penn on Friday at 7 p.m.

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