CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESS RELEASE
Men's Lacrosse Advances To Final Four With 6-4 Triumph Over Princeton
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – For the second time this season, the Cornell defense locked down a Princeton offense considered to be one of the best in the country. The first time it happened, the Big Red clinched a share of its seventh-straight Ivy League title. The second time it happened, Cornell secured its second Final Four appearance in the past three years.
The Big Red jumped out to a 5-1 lead and held off the Tigers the rest of the way to claim a 6-4 victory over fourth-seeded Princeton on Saturday afternoon in front of 11,259 fans at Hofstra's Shuart Stadium in an NCAA quarterfinal matchup. Cornell will play the winner of tomorrow's NCAA quarterfinal between No. 1 Virginia and No. 8 Johns Hopkins in a semifinal game on Saturday, May 23 at either noon or 2 p.m. at Gilette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN2, with the winner of that game advancing to Monday's national championship game. Ticket information for next weekend can be found by clicking here.
Freshman Rob Pannell had three assists to direct the offense, while Rocco Romero posted a pair of goals and Jon Thomson had a goal and an assist. Senior midfielder John Glynn had a goal and won 9-of-14 faceoffs, including one with less than two minutes left to play that allowed Cornell an opportunity to run out the clock. Jake Myers had five saves and Pierce Derkac had six ground balls and two caused turnovers in front of him to lead the defense.
Cornell (12-3) held the slim edge in shots (30-28), but dominated ground balls (39-19) and face-offs (14-of-23) to earn the victory. Cornell was unable to score on two man-up opportunities, but the man-down defense was at its best, allowing the Tigers to score just once on seven chances.
Princeton (13-3) saw four different players reach the scoring column as it was held to a season-low for goals, and was led by Tommy Davis’ one goal and one assist. In goal, Tyler Fiorito made six saves.
“That Princeton team was as good of a team as any in the nation,” said Cornell head coach Jeff Tambroni. “We knew this would be a monumental task but we felt that if we played hard, we would have a chance to be successful.”
Junior attackman Ryan Hurley opened the scoring for the Big Red as he took the ball from behind the crease, wrapped around and beat Fiorito down low to make it a 1-0 game at the 13:27 mark. Just over three minutes later, George Calvert found the back of the net as he took a pass from Thomson and ripped a shot from 10 yards out to beat Fiorito up high.
The Big Red defense held Princeton without a shot for the first six minutes of the opening quarter and a prolonged Tiger possession ended in a turnover as Jake McBride put the ball on the ground and Pierce Derkac came up with the loose ball. Cornell couldn’t convert on the other end, however, and Jake McBride scored as he bull-dodged his way to the goal and bounced a shot past Myers with 1:52 to play in the quarter. A penalty after the play gave the Tigers a one-minute man-up opportunity, but a turnover in front of the crease allowed the Big Red to kill the penalty off and hold the ball for the final shot.
With time winding down, Pannell took the ball behind the net and found Romero as he cut to the crease and one-timed the ball into the back of the net. Princeton won the ensuing face-off but Tommy Davis’ shot was blocked and Austin Boykin came up with the loose ball to run out the clock.
A point-blank saves by Myers to open the second period was wasted by a turnover on the other end but Moyer forced Davis into a turnover on the crease to give the ball back to the Big Red. A save on the other end by Fiorito gave the ball back to the Tigers and Cornell was flagged for having too many long sticks on the field to give Princeton its second man-up opportunity of the day.
Once again, the Big Red killed the opportunity, thanks to a great save by Myers, but Princeton picked up the loose ball to continue its possession. Another point-blank save by Myers sent the ball the other way, but a two-minute possession ended with a Fiorito save.
A holding call on the Tigers returned the ball almost immediately to the Big Red and Pannell found Thomson cutting to the goal to put Cornell up, 4-1 with 5:27 remaining in the second quarter. After winning the restart, Glynn had the ball knocked away by John Cunningham, but the Tiger long pole lost the ball thanks to a tremendous trail-check by Derkac.
The teams traded turnovers and the Big Red reclaimed the ball with 3:40 to play in the half. Just one-minute later, a tremendous individual effort by Glynn, who swim-dodged between two Tigers and evaded a third, beat Fiorito up high to make it a 5-1 game.
Cornell won the next face-off on a procedure call, but a turnover gave the ball to Princeton with less than two minutes to play in the half.
Myers made another save and sent the ball the quickly into the other end. The initial shot went high and Coach Tambroni called a timeout with 11 seconds to play. The Big Red worked the ball around, but Pannell’s shot went high as time expired and Cornell took the 5-1 lead into the intermission.
After winning the opening face-off in the third quarter, Cornell turned the ball over on the crease and the Tiger offense went to work after the clear. Princeton didn’t have the ball for long before Moyer knocked the ball away from Jack McBride.
A solid scoring opportunity for Cornell went wide and Princeton backed up the ball to regain possession with just under 12 minutes to play. Another great check by Moyer put the ball on the ground, but a slash earlier in the possession gave the Tigers another one-minute man-up chance. An errant shot by Scott MacKenzie was backed up by Myers and Cornell once again killed off the penalty.
After turning the ball over in the offensive end, Cornell was penalized again for one-minute, but Myers made a save on a shot by MacKenzie to keep the Big Red perfect on the man-down.
A brilliant save by Fiorito on Cornell’s next possession was wasted by a turnover on the clear, but Princeton managed to get the ball back with a solid defensive effort.
Princeton earned yet another one-minute man-up opportunity and Davis finally converted to make it a three-goal game, 5-2, with 3:54 to play in the third quarter.
Cornell won the restart but the teams traded turnovers several more times before Chris McBride scored an unassisted goal with 28 seconds to play in the quarter. Princeton won the ensuing face-off, but a shot by Mark Kovler crossed the goal-line after time expired and Cornell took the slim 5-3 lead into the final intermission.
Princeton won the opening face-off and took it to goal, but a point-blank save by Myers ended the threat and Cornell moved the ball into its offensive end. The Big Red drew a penalty on the Tigers and enjoyed its first man-up opportunity of the day. The 30-second advantage was killed off by Princeton, and Cornell lost the ball when Fiorito made a save and then backed-up the shot.
A one-minute man-up opportunity for the Tigers was wasted with an overthrown pass, but Princeton earned the ball back with a great ride on the clear. Derkac caused another turnover deep in the Cornell defensive end the Big Red took over on offense with 8:30 to play.
The Big Red ended a 25:05 scoring drought as Pannell found Romero cutting to the goal and the senior midfielder made it a 6-3 game at the 7:36 mark.
Cornell won the face-off, but a penalty in its offensive end turned the ball over and gave the Tigers a 30-second man-up chance, but once again the defense held and returned the ball to the Big Red end with just over five minutes to play.
A slashing penalty on the Tigers with 4:37 to play allowed Cornell to take more than two minutes off the clock before a turnover led to Princeton’s final goal of the day, scored by Kovler with 1:32 to play.
Glynn won the restart and Cornell ran out the clock, holding onto the slim 6-4 victory.
Photos by Zach Babo
|Tommy Davis||(1, 1)|
|Jack Mcbride||(1, 0)|
|Chris Mcbride||(1, 0)|
|Mark Kovler||(1, 0)|
|Tyler Fiorito||6 (0.500)|