On a crisp Saturday afternoon on the banks of the Charles River, visiting Cornell blanked home team Harvard in the second half with 9 unanswered goals in front of a capacity crowd at Jordan Field (Cambridge, MA). Crimson watched their halftime 4-2 advantage soundly quashed in a complete turnaround match. No. 10 ranked Cornell was led by Freshmen Sean Greenhalgh (Holy Cross, Ont.) who banged out 4 goals and sophomore Andrew Collins (Yorktown HS, NY) with 2 goals and 2 assists. Cornell edged out Harvard on all the balance sheet items – groundballs (28-18), faces (11-7), and man-ups (Cornell 2-3, Harvard 0-2). Junior attackman Matt Primm (McDonough, MD) led the No. 19 ranked Harvard with 2 goals. Cornell leads Ivy play with a perfect 3-0 record while Harvard remains at 0-2.
Cornell has a three-game winning streak against the Crimson, and a 51-23-5 all-time record against Harvard. Last year, Cornell beat out Harvard convincingly 16-3. Cornell leads the nation in team defense with an average 5.88 goals per game while Harvard is 11th allowing an average of 7.86 goals/game. With such stalwart defenses on both ends of the field, the key would come down to possession and the winning edge given to the team with the most effective offense. Big Red D is anchored by Defender Ryan McClay, Jr. and goalie Justin Cynar, Sr. - both of whom are 2002 pre-season All-American selections. Cornell has won seven-straight except for the season opener against Georgetown. Harvard is led by Primm on the offensive with 10 goals, 8 assists. Harvard is 0-2 in Ivy play and 4-3 for the season. As of now, Cornell remains the top contender in the Ivy, but the rest of the competition is still up for grabs. The breakdown is as follows: Cornell 3-0 (W Yale, Harvard, Penn), Yale 2-2 (W Princeton and Penn; L Cornell and Brown), Penn 2-3 (W Dartmouth; L Princeton, Cornell, Harvard), Princeton 1-1 (W Penn; L Yale), Dartmouth 0-1 (L Penn), Harvard 0-2 (L Penn and Cornell).
Harvard kicked off first period action with a pair of goals from junior attackman Matt Primm. Primm’s first goal came 6:44 off an assist from frosh Mike McBride (Delbarton, NJ). Primm found the net again just one minute after off a feed from sophomore Jeff Gottschall (Deerfield, MA) for 2-0. Big Red converted on an unassisted shot from frosh Justin Redd (Gilman, MD) at 2:45 (1-2).
Second period started with a Big Red goal from sophomore Andrew Collins (Yorktown HS, NY) assisted by senior attack Colin Crawford (West Genesee, NY) at 10:46 which leveled the field at a deuce a piece. Crawford worked the ball on X and found Collins parked on the crease, who then cranked a short one past the Crimson keeper with a quick release shot. Big Red maintained possession off the face but then turned over the ball when senior Galen Beers (Kent County, MD) shot high and wide. Big Red game leading scorer frosh Greenhalgh hit pipe, but the shot went wide. Big Red stuck possession and tried yet again to go to the hole with ball up top and working the stack just inside the restraining line to clear up traffic for the ISO round the crease, but Crimson sophomore keeper Jake McKenna came up with the big save. Crimson worked the ball down field to behind the cage. Harvard frosh McBride found junior attack Jay Wich (St. Paul’s, MD) open, who then drove on the upper right lip of the crease and nailed a bounce shot that took Big Red senior keeper Justin Cynar low at 5:05 (3-2). The faceoff went to Harvard but then the ball changed possession with a turnover. Big Red worked the ball up top but wasn’t able to convert on two side shots. Harvard converted on the missed opportunities with a bouncer out wide from senior mid Jim Christian at :43 widening the lead by two (4-2). This would be the last time Harvard would score for the rest of the game.
Third period started the full out assault from Big Red. A long stick from Cornell snagged the face. Cornell’s Galen Beers cranked a shot from the 30 on the right and pegged the keeper’s helmet. Cornell broke the scoring seal with a cross crease pass from Collins to an open Greenhalgh at 12:17. Greenhalgh dove across the top of the crease and released the ball mid air while parallel to the turf and grazed the keeper’s right hip narrowing the deficit to one (3-4). Big Red junior J.P. Schalk evened out the score as he worked the screens up top and scored on an off pace bounce shot that hit high net at 11:32 (4-4). Big Red took the faceoff but possession changed and Harvard was able to work it down to their end. The ball wouldn't stay down in Crimson territory for too long. Cornell snagged the rebound on a loose shot that had hit pipe. Big Red D came up strong again with a huge interception from senior mid Josh Heller (Milton, MA) that kicked off the fast break. The series was rudely punctuated with a goal from Greenhalgh off an assist from Collins at 7:52 (5-4). Cornell hit mesh again when Redd who had one step ahead on his shorty D and hit a nasty shot top shelf (6-4).
Defensively, both ends were keeping it clean up until the fourth quarter, with only one penalty from Big Red junior D and 2002 U.S. Team Member Ryan McClay. He got called for slashing in the first quarter, but the fourth quarter Harvard committed four penalties and Cornell capitalized on two EMOs. Big Red took the faceoff at the top of the fourth period. Unfortunately, several of the crease monkeys failed to hit net face-to-face with the keeper. Harvard sent a man to the box with a slash from Mike Packard at 12:20. The first goal of the fourth came from Greenhalgh who made it a hat trick. Big Red worked the perimeter and pushed the ball up top and sophomore attack Ben Spoonhower (Webster, NY) found Greenhalgh riding the left side cut curling around the crease from behind. Greenhalgh ate turf coming down from the lefty bouncer at 11:51 (7-4). Big Red D man Brandon Hall was called for a hold at 11:12. Cornell’s Galen Beers took his D man up high on a roll dodge and hit net on a low to high shot at 9:46 (8-4). Harvard called for a timeout right after, but it wouldn’t do much for the hemorrhaging. At the whistle, Big Red came up with the ball. Big Red junior long stick Frank Sands (St. Anthony’s, NY) found Greenhalgh at the end of a fast break run. Greenhalgh, who had set up, finished and folded his laundry, was open for business and tacked the back of the net on a sharp bouncer. It seemed that Harvard was late on the slides leaving a soft and open spot in hole making for easy Big Red goals. At 3:38, Harvard’s Packer went out again on a penalty and Big Red went straight for the bottom line with another goal at 3:38 from Schalk who dumped one past the keeper off a behind the crease feed from Fort (10-4). With less than four minutes, Harvard committed three penalties. Collins scored last for Big Red off a feed from Schalk. It appeared that the Harvard goalie made the save, but it was tipped in over his left shoulder and found soft home two inches below pipe 3:29 (11-4). A frustrated Harvard got into it with Cornell at 2:30. Two Big Red D collapsed on Packard on the players’ sidelines. Next thing, red and white jerseys were flying into the row. By the time the players were sent to their corners, Packard left the jury with a guilty plea and a 2:00 penalty. Cornell ran out the clock and came away with the 11-4 win.
Harvard will travel to Providence for another Ivy match up against Brown on Wednesday at 7 p.m. and will host Princeton next Saturday at 3 p.m. Cornell will head back to NY where they will go head to head with Syracuse on Tuesday, April 9, 5 p.m. at Schoellkopf Field. Next Saturday, Big Red will defend their undefeated Ivy record against the Big Green of Dartmouth April 13, 1 p.m. in Ithaca.