A nine-goal win on any record sticks out as a big-ticket line item, however, a 12-3 score does seem mildly curious especially when you pair a team who beat No. 2 ranked Syracuse by four against a team who narrowly edged out Quinnipiac by one goal. Add to the mix the May 5th 2002 selection day controversy and the expectations for the first round of Davie & Goliath mismatches seem even more odd and cruel. Despite the score semantics, No. 6 ranked Cornell did log a convincing win over 2002 America East Champions Stony Brook on Saturday at Brown Stadium (Providence, RI) as Big Red will advance to quarterfinal action where they will go head-to-head with No. 3 ranked Virginia next Sunday at Hopkins. 2002 Ivy League Rookie of the Year and the team's leading scorer (34 g, 2a) Freshman Sean Greenhalgh (Holy Cross, Ont.) had the Walter PPK-touch with 3 goals and an assist. Sophomore attacker George LaFlare (Lindenhurst, NY), the team’s fourth leading scorer (9g, 8a) led the offense for Stony Brook.
No. 6 ranked Cornell entered the contest with a 10-3 record and as the clear favorite. Saturday’s game was Cornell’s return to the NCAA tournament after a one-year hiatus and marked their 16th overall tournament appearance. Going into the first round of NCAA (North) game play, Big Red’s end of regular season momentum was somewhat slowed down by two big losses out of three of their final games. The season-high 15-11 win over No. 2 ranked Syracuse started to lose credibility when Big Red failed to prove any big game legitimacy after losing to eventual Ivy Champion Princeton 7-12 and the following week when Cornell lost in a heart-breaking double overtime game to Brown 8-9 (4/27/02). Meanwhile, Stony Brook entered the NCAA first round with a 10-6 record and the nation's third leading scorer (48g, 2a) Senior attack Kevin Pall (Calhoun, NY) governing the boards for the Seawolves. Stony Brook did challenge UMass as they lost 7-8 early in the season, but then again, that loss/"win" seemed questionable with losses against Hartford (8-9) and UMBC (3-11). Wins against Quinnipiac, Marist, Albany, Lafayette, Binghamton and Manhattan demonstrate the strength of their schedule. The first time Cornell met Stony Brook in 1999, the final score was 12-5 in favor of Cornell (record of 7-6). It’s a safe assumption that this year’s squad is stronger than in previous years with four players making the 2002 All Ivy Conference team in a peak competitive year. First team selections included Senior middie Galen Beers (Kent County, MD) and in a unanimous decision Junior defender Ryan McClay (Mahopac, NY) – Princeton’s Damien Davis was the only other member to receive a unanimous vote. Second team picks included Senior middie Josh Heller (Avon Old Farms, MA) and Rookie of the Year Freshman attack Sean Greenhalgh (Holy Cross, Ont.) It didn’t take a doctorate degree in particle physics to figure out that Stony Brook, going in against the number one defense in the nation (avg = 7.00 goals/game), would have to pull off some serious magic and then some. A quick glance at the balance sheet items reveals that Stony Break simply failed to capitalize on opportunity. The Seawolves had 27 to Cornell’s 30 shots on goal. Big Red beat out Stony brook on ground balls 59-22. Fortunately, neither team was able to gain an advantage on EMOs – Cornell (1/6) and Stony Brook (0/2). Easy read shots with little to no angles coming out of a double/triple team made Big Red Senior keeper Justin Cynar (Massapequa, NY) look even more like an all-star.
Senior middie Denis Scannell (MacArthur, NY) and Senior middie Addison Sollog (Lynbrook, NY) took to the circle for the faceoff at the start of the first period. Cornell gained possession of the ball. After a few sloppy thrown and dropped passes from Cornell, Senior middie Billy Fort (Landon, MD) was able to crack the scoring seal at 1:24 (1-0). Fort, the squad’s third leading scorer (11g, 18a), managed to fend off the barrage of defenders that collapsed on him. Fort brought in the ball on the keeper’s left side and grazed Stony Brook senior keeper Steve Armsworthy’s left shoulder with a lefty shot. Big Red gained possession of the ball and brought the ball down into the Seawolves’ deep end and worked the picks behind. Cornell and Stony Brook traded possession several times. As Big Red’s Sophomore longstick ‘D’ Tim DeBlois (Fayetteville Manlius, MD) was working out the clear, he was check from behind. Stony Brook’s fourth leading scorer (9g, 8a) Sophomore attacker George LaFlare (Lindenhurst, NY) was able to get a lefty sweeper shot off that hit pipe. Cornell would manage several more shots on goal mainly off of the ball starting up and picks on the crease. Neither team could find the net for nearly 11 minutes nor Stony Brook demonstrated some patience and intensity on defense was able to cause turnovers. Sophomore middie Ian Rosenberger (St. Paul’s School, NH) who shot 2-2 finally ended the drought and wrapped up first period scoring with goal assisted by Senior middie Galen Beers (Kent County, MD) at 12:52 (2-0). Rosenberger shot a lefty crank from topside right that hit upper 90.
Cornell gained possession of the faceoff at the start of the second period and worked the ball on X until Senior middie Billy Fort (Landon, MD) drove around the right side crease hard and feasted on grass as he came down a shot that hit lower left corner (3-0) at 1:24. Stony Brook worked the ball on a 2-4 middie invert to no real success. They were able to get several shots off but they were too far out or at bad angles. Stony Brook called for a value-added timeout at 5:52. Cornell lit up the boards several minutes later when Senior middie Galen Beers (Kent County, MD) scored unassisted. Beers took his defender 1v1 and gained a step and fired a bouncer that hit lower right corner (4-0).
Cornell seemed noticeably quiet on the offensive end even with Stony Brooks heightened attempts on defense. Freshman Sean Greenhalgh seemed more quiet than usual. Greenhalgh was usually parked on the crease and served as a decoy. It was hard to determine if the reason for the delayed slides was to guard Greenhalgh more tightly or that they were just slow. Cornell gained possession of the faceoff at the start of the third period and put in a more convincing quarter performance scoring five goals. Greenhalgh fed the ball from up top to Sophomore middie Andrew Collins (Yorktown, NY), the teams second leading scorer (20g, 15a). Collins was parked on the crease and made a backhand shot look even sweeter of a spin move in the hole (5-0). Less than one minute later Big Red team mate and fifth leading scorer (12g, 15a) Junior middie J.P. Schalk (Fayetteville Manlius, MD) blanked the keeper with a lefty sidearm which dropped on the vertical at upper 90 left seam (6-0). Cornell maintained possession and worked the ball behind and in a series of quick, tight passes in the paint, scored their third goal of the period. Collins drove around the right side of the crease hard and split the crease defender who was supposed to be Greenhalgh’s patrol officer. Collins drew the defender and dumped a shorty pass to Greenhalgh in the hole who had a quick lefty release shot that went past the Armsworthy right hip (7-0) at 5:41. Stony Brook finally made it up onto the boards with their first and last goal of the period coming from fourth leading scorer (9g, 8a) Sophomore attacker George LaFlare (Lindenhurst, NY). Cornell defense was holding the attack very well and the middie invert proved ineffectual. Stony Brook scored on what looked to be like a frustrated shot. Freshman attack Steve Conlon (Cape Henlopen, NY), team’s second leading scorer (22g, 19a) chucked the ball to LaFlare who then took an off-pace shot way out goalie’s right side that took everyone by surprise (1-7) at 10:15. Greenhalgh used his size, speed and instinct and drove around the upper left lip of the crease from behind and beat out his defender. Greenhalgh came down on the seed and his lefty shot found a home lower left corner (8-1). Cornell’s Collins scored out the scoring in the third period off an assist from Senior attack Colin Crawford (West Genesee, NY). Collins received a flat pass that was flush with the top of the box. Colin fired a nasty crank that clipped the seam upper left corner (9-1)
Greenhalgh kicked off the scoring at the top of the fourth quarter. Fellow frosh middie Justin Redd (Gilman, MD) found Greenhalgh at the sweet spot at the top of the box. Greenhalgh who was way to exposed cranked a shot that hit the upper left corner (10-1). Stony Brook then scored one of its two goals in the last period when Senior attacker Matt Campolettano (Chaminade, NY) who was working the crease harder than Bill Shatner on the commercial circuit. Campolettano fiinally gained a step on his defender who lost his footing and shot as he was coming down and worked the ball past Cynar’s left hip (2-10). Cornell’s Billy Fort made it a hat trick off a feed from Justin Redd when he shot from the rightside of the box past the goalie’s hip (11-2). Team mate Ian Rosenberger found the net nearly two minutes later off an assist from Galen Beers (12-2) Rosenberger had a low-hi riser that went in past Armsworthy’s right shoulder. Stony Brook’s last goal seemed to be another random-is-this-almost-over shot from way out wide. Pall shot out wide a step into the box on the left side off an assist from LaFlare. Pall’s shot hit upper 90 (3-12). At this point, Cornell went into a necessary stall and ran out the remaining two minutes of the clock. Final score Cornell 12 and Stony Brook 3.
You would need to be careful with Virginia's scouting report on Cornell. Big Red has definitely played better in the past and the score could be a result of a kinder, more gentle Cornell or a team that simple under performed – probably somewhere in between. Your thoughts must go out to Manhattan who will meet No. 5 ranked Georgetown later on Sunday in Delaware. Stony Brook beat Manhattan 15-8 - one can only pray for mercy and sportsmanship. Cornell was untested in their first round match and will most certainly have their hands full next Sunday at JHU. The game is schedule 45 minutes after game one.
Cornell vs. Stony Brook