Yale vs. Cornell
March 23, 2002
The Game Story:
ITHACA, N.Y. - A stifling defense, which shut Yale out in the first half, helped extend the Cornell men's lacrosse team's winning streak to five games as the Big Red opened its 2002 Ivy League season with an 8-4 win over the Yale Bulldogs. Sophomore Andrew Collins (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) led Cornell, which scored all eight of its goals in the first half, with a game-high three goals.

The first half was dominated by the Big Red, which outshot Yale 23-3 and earned a 24-16 advantage in ground balls. Freshman Sean Greenhalgh (St. Catherines, Ont.) opened the scoring one minute into the game off a pass from senior Billy Fort (Bethesda, Md.). Collins scored his first goal by taking a feed from J.P. Schalk (Manlius, N.Y.) and beating Yale goalkeeper Eric Wenzel. A rocket shot by freshman Justin Redd (Towson, Md.) gave Cornell a 3-0 lead to end the first quarter.

Collins scored the first two goals of the second quarter, and Fort and Schalk added strong individual efforts for unassisted goals later in the half. The final goal of the first half was another unassisted goal by sophomore Ben Spoonhower (Webster, N.Y.).

As it turned out, that would be the final goal of the day for the Big Red. Fortunately, the defense rose to the occasion to produce its best 60-minute effort of the 2002 campaign. Yale was able to score two goals apiece in both the third and fourth quarter, but Cornell's ability to win ground balls and faceoffs were critical to maintaining a comfortable second-half lead. Cornell ended the game with a 46-32 edge in ground balls, thanks in part to a game-high eight by sophomore Tim DeBlois (Fayetteville, N.Y.). Three other players earned at least five ground balls, including senior Addison Sollog (Lynbrook, N.Y.). Sollog led the effort in faceoffs winning 10 of 15 draws. Add another win for freshman J.D. Nelson (Cockeysville, Md.), and the Big Red ended the game with a 11-5 edge in faceoffs.

"I thought the offense won the game for us at Penn State, scoring 11 goals," DeBlois said. "This time, it was the defense's turn. We need to bring both together. If you told me before the game we would only allow four goals in the game and none in the first half, I would have taken it."

For Yale, Blake Beachler opened the second-half scoring with a goal at the 2:01 mark of the third quarter, and Seth Goldberg added a goal five minutes into the quarter. Edward Britt scored an extra-man goal at 2:51 of the fourth quarter, and Tucker Foote scored his sixth goal of the season to cut the deficit to 8-4 with just under 10 minutes remaining in the game. Yale would have more opportunities to cut into the deficit again, but the Big Red defense forced a number of late turnovers. Senior goalkeeper Justin Cynar (Massapequa, N.Y.) also aided the defensive effort with six saves. Yale goalkeeper Eric Wenzel made 12 saves for the Bulldogs.

The win improves Cornell to 5-1, 1-0 in the Ivy League. It is Yale's first loss of the season, dropping the Bulldogs to 3-1, 1-1 in the league. The Big Red will continue its push for the Ivy League championship next Saturday at noon against the Penn Quakers. The game, which will be played at Franklin Field, will be available locally on WTKO or on the web site at www.cornellbigred.com.