Towson vs. Cornell
May 14, 2005
The Game Story:
Towson, Md. – Sophomore midfielder Brian Clayton (Suffern H.S./Monsey, N.Y.) scored the game-winning goal with 11 seconds left in the fourth quarter to lead Cornell University (11-2) to its ninth straight win, an exciting 12-11 victory over the seventh-seeded Tigers (11-5) in the first round of the NCAA Division I men's lacrosse tournament at Johnny Unitas Stadium on Saturday evening.

In a game that featured seven ties and five lead changes, the Big Red advance to next Sunday's quarterfinals against Duke University at Princeton University. The Blue Devils advanced with a 23-4 victory over Fairfield University earlier on Saturday.

"That was a hard fought game," Cornell Coach Jeff Tambroni said. "Both teams had swings of momentum throughout the entire game. I'm proud of our guys. They showed a lot of resiliency in fighting back from being down two goals in the third quarter."

The Tigers and the Big Red played to a 7-7 tie at halftime. In a wild first half, there were four ties and three lead changes. After the Tigers took a 1-0 lead just 2:07 into the game on a goal by sophomore Keith Obloj (Farmingdale H.S./Farmingdale, N.Y.), Cornell went on a four-goal run to grab a 4-1 lead with 8:03 left in the first quarter. Junior Derek Haswell (Skaneateles H.S./Skaneateles, N.Y.) scored two of the Cornell goals.

Trailing by 4-1, the Tigers came right back and scored three goals over the next 1:03 to tie the score. Sophomore Matt Eckerl (Calvert Hall College H.S./Baltimore, Md.) started the run by winning a face-off and scoring the first goal of his college career to make it a 4-2 game, just five seconds after Cornell scored its fourth goal of the game. Sophomores Nick Williams (Calvert Hall College H.S./Baltimore, Md.) and Oliver Bacon (Charlotte Country Day/Charlotte, N.C.) each added goals to tie the game with 6:55 left in the first period.

In the opening minute of the second quarter, Williams’ second goal of the game gave the Tigers a 5-4 lead.

Clayton scored the game-tying goal with 13:09 left in the half to tie the game at 5-5. Senior Ian Rosenberger (St. Mark's/Concord, N.H.) restored Cornell’s lead with 10:34 left in the half as he scored off a pass from freshman John Glynn (Lindenhurst H.S./Lindenhurst, N.Y.). An unassisted goal by senior Kevin Nee (Taft School/Canton, N.Y.) gave Cornell a 7-5 lead with 6:35 left in the half.

Williams’ third goal of the game, an unassisted score, cut the deficit to 7-6 with 3:05 left in the half. Sophomore Jonathan Engelke (Farmingdale H.S./Massapequa Park, N.Y.) tied the game at 7-7 with 46 seconds remaining in the half for the Tigers.

With 13:40 remaining in the third quarter, the game was stopped for a lightning delay, which lasted one hour and 42 minutes. Once play resumed, Williams scored his fourth goal of the game with 5:12 remaining in the third quarter, giving Towson an 8-7 lead. The Tigers extended the advantage to 9-7 with 50 seconds left in the stanza when sophomore attackman Bobby Griebe (Boys' Latin School/Bel Air, Md.) scored an extra-man goal off a feed from junior Steve Mull (Fallston H.S./Fallston, Md.).

Cornell opened the fourth quarter with a 4-0 run in the first 6:35 of the period to turn a two-goal deficit into a two-goal lead. After senior Justin Redd (Gilman School/Towson, Md.) scored an unassisted goal just 52 seconds into the period, Nee followed with his 36th goal of the season off a Redd assist. With 10:16 remaining, junior defensive midfielder Cameron Marchant (Noble and Greenough/Brookline, Mass.) registered his first goal of the season off an assist from senior Sean Greenhalgh (Holy Cross/St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada) before junior Joe Boulukos (Cold Spring Harbor/Huntington, N.Y.) upped the Big Red lead to 11-9 with 8:25 left.

Towson tied the game for the seventh time with back-to-back goals from Obloj and Griebe to make the score 11-11 with 2:27 remaining before Clayton scored his game-winning goal. He took a feed from Redd and scored his ninth goal of the season past senior goalkeeper Reed Sothoron (St. Mary's Ryken/Lexington Park, Md.).

With six seconds left, Towson took a timeout and drew up one last play to attempt to tie the game, but Williams' shot was saved by sophomore goalkeeper Matt McMonagle (Episcopal Academy/Bryn Mawr, Pa.) at the final horn to send Cornell to the second round.

"With the weather delay, I think both teams played above that and it's always tough to lose a one-goal game," Towson Coach Tony Seaman said. "Both teams played magnificently. They handled all of the conditions. It was a heck of a lacrosse game."

Nee led the Big Red in the victory with three goals and one assist, while Redd scored once while recording three assists. Greenhalgh was held to just two assists, marking the first time in 31 games he has failed to scored a goal.

Williams scored a career-high four goals for the Tigers, while Obloj and Griebe each scored two goals. In his final college game, Sothoron made 12 saves in a losing effort for Towson.

Towson outshot the Big Red by a 35-34 margin and won 20 of 27 face-offs in the loss. The Tigers end a streak of 25 straight wins when scoring ten or more goals. The last time the Tigers failed to earn a victory when scoring 10 or more goals was during the 2002 season in a 14-11 setback to Johns Hopkins.