Hobart vs. Cornell
May 4, 2002
The Game Story:
GENEVA, N.Y. - And now we wait. The 10th-ranked Cornell men's lacrosse team knocked off unranked Hobart 10-6 in its regular-season finale, thanks to a balanced offensive performance and a 14-save showing by senior goaltender Justin Cynar. The Big Red did what it needed to do on the field, and now it leaves its fate in the hands of the NCAA selection committee. Tomorrow at 6:30 p.m., the 12-team NCAA field will be announced, and it will be available on www.cornellbigred.com shortly afterwards.

Six teams will receive automatic qualifiers to the NCAA tournament. Six other teams will receive at-large bids. In all likelihood, the first five will go to Johns Hopkins, Syracuse, Virginia, Georgetown and Hofstra. That leaves teams like Duke, Loyola and Cornell in the mix for the last spot.

To make a good day even better, Cornell got help from two highly ranked foes. The top-seeded Johns Hopkins Blue Jays knocked off Loyola 8-4. Also, Princeton moved itself into the group of automatic qualifiers by defeating Brown in Providence, R.I. "We are hopeful that the committee will give us a good look," Cornell head coach Jeff Tambroni said. "We knew we had to come in here and win this game to get that look. We knew we needed to be a team with 10 wins and three losses, with no bad losses."

A loss on Saturday to the unranked Statesmen, the alma mater of Tambroni and assistant coach Bobby Wynne, would have been disastrous. Hobart got off to the start it hoped for, scoring on its first shot. Following a 15-second battle for the faceoff, Hobart finally earned control and got the ball on the stick of junior midfielder Tim Booth. He took an unobstructed shot from 10 yards out and beat senior goaltender Justin Cynar high for a 1-0 lead.

Junior J.P. Schalk evened the score at 1-1 by beating his defender and flicking a shot over the shoulder of goaltender Mike Borsz just over three minutes into the game. Senior Galen Beers, determined not to let this be his final game, gave Cornell a 2-1 lead with a rocket shot on a man-up advantage late in the quarter. The lead surged to 3-1 when Justin Redd came out of a scrum with a ground ball and found an open Andrew Collins alone in front of the crease. The sophomore attackman did his part, firing a shot past Borsz for a 3-1 lead. He then built it up to a three-goal lead on a delayed penalty call, as he beat his man behind the crease and scored high on Borsz.

Freshman Sean Greenhalgh made it 5-1 with six minutes remaining in the half, and Beers ended the half with his second goal of the game, giving Cornell a 6-1 lead at intermission. While the offense was clicking on all cylinders, the defense was equally impressive. Following the opening goal by the Statesmen, Cynar made eight straight saves without allowing a goal in the first half. Cornell also earned a 22-13 advantage in ground balls during the half.

The rout continued early in the second half, as a defensive breakdown left junior defenseman Ryan McClay alone in front of the crease for an easy goal. Schalk and Hobart's John Bagosian traded goals later in the quarter, and Chris Scanlon added a 15-yard shot with 3:28 remaining to get the deficit back to five goals. Just over one minute later, Bagosian scored on the doorstep, cutting the deficit to four goals. Hobart won the faceoff, but a save by Cynar and a groundball by Tim DeBlois led to an offensive possession for Cornell, and Redd capitalized with a tough low shot that gave Cornell a 9-4 lead. Redd has scored in all but one of Cornell's games this season.

McClay iced the victory with his second goal of the game at the 5:27 mark. For the All-America defenseman, it was his first career multiple-goal game.