Cornell vs. Syracuse
April 13, 2004
The Game Story:
ITHACA, N.Y. - No. 4 Syracuse led throughout in a back-and-forth game, making big plays at the end of two quarters to earn a 12-10 win over No. 12 Cornell on Tuesday evening at Schoellkopf Field. Syracuse won its fifth straight game in improving to 8-1 overall, while Cornell slipped to 5-3.

Syracuse goalkeeper Jay Pfeiffer made a sprawling save as time expired going into halftime and Steve Vallone scored the last of his four goals with six seconds remaining in the third quarter as the Orangemen won in Ithaca for the first time in three tries. Cornell outshot SU 42-37, won 14-of-26 face-offs and made more saves (12-11), but turnovers and an inability to convert in extra-man opportunities doomed the Big Red's thoughts of an upset.

Vallone led the Syracuse attack with his four scores, while Michael Powell had three goals and assisted on two others to go along with a team-high six ground balls. Sean Lindsay added a hat trick in the win and Pfeifer stopped 11 shots, including five as Syracuse jumped out to a 4-1 first quarter lead.

Both Joe Boulokos and Dave Pittard scored three goals and added an assist off the bench for Cornell, while Andrew Collins was credited with four assists, moving into the top five all-time on the Big Red's career list. Nine different players scored at least a point. Brandon Ross made several crucial saves, ending the afternoon with 12 stops.

The Orangemen seemingly dominated play in the first 15 minutes despite close figures in shots (SU 11-9), jumping out to a 4-1 lead. Cornell turnovers (5) and Syracuse's Lindsay (two goals) were the stories of the first quarter, as was the pouring rain that picked up with five minutes remaining. Sloppy play due to the conditions hurt both teams, as battles for ground balls became drawn out wars and simple clears became adventures.

Syracuse scored less than a minute and a half into the game when Steve Vallone came around the end and beat Ross in the upper left quadrant to take a 1-0 edge. Pfeifer had three saves in the first five minutes to keep the Big Red off the scoreboard, but a pair of failed clear attempts by Syracuse kept the ball in the Cornell end. A Big Red turnover gave Syracuse a fast break opportunity, and Lindsay cashed in on it for his 15th score of the season to make it 2-0.

Cornell finally dented the scoreboard nine minutes in when Collins found Kevin Nee all alone in front of the net to cut the deficit to 2-1. Zack Wallace answered immediately for the Orange on a feed from Jarrett Park to extend the lead back to two goals. Lindsay then made it 4-1 with 3:15 left in the period on a feed from Alex Zink as it appeared Syracuse was going to run away with the game.

Cornell fought back with two goals in the first 3:16 of the second quarter, cutting the deficit to 4-3. Vallone's second goal of the contest gave the Orangemen a cushion at the 10-minute mark, but Dave Pittard answered for Cornell 6:51 in on a strong move around the cage and a finish as he was pushed down to make it 5-4. Syracuse would again have an answer as Lindsay converted a man-up opportunity29 seconds later to give him a hat trick and the push the Orangemen to a 6-4 advantage. An apparent Syracuse goal was disallowed due to a crease violation, giving Cornell back the momentum, and Joe Boulokos came through with his first goal of the game with less than three minutes to play before halftime. Not to be outdone, Syracuse answered with a 1-on-1 goal by Brian Nee less than a minute later. Pfeifer made a point-blank save to prevent a Red goal at the horn, sending Syracuse into the break with a 7-5 lead.

The Big Red broke out to open the second half with Boulokos scoring two minutes in on a rocket shot from 15 yards out off a feed from Collins, his third assist of the afternoon. The Orange came back to life with a pair of scores in a span of 25 seconds to take a three-goal lead, but Cornell scored back-to-back chances to get within 9-8. Syracuse ended the period with a extra-man score with six seconds to play in the quarter, giving the Orangemen a 10-8 lead heading into the final 15 minutes.

After trading goals to open the fourth, Syracuse moved the lead back to three at 12-9 with 3:37 remaining in regulation, but Cornell made a final charge, causing a turnover after losing the face-off and then scoring quickly after with Pittard getting the score with 2:19 left. Ross caused a turnover after Cornell lost the face-off, but the Big Red could not find the back of the net and Syracuse ran out the clock for the victory.

Cornell will return to action on Saturday, April 17, when it meets Dartmouth at 1 p.m. on Schoellkopf Field.