CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESS RELEASE:
Men's Lax Advances To Final Four With 14-5 Win Over Army
STONY BROOK, N.Y. – For the third time in four years, the Cornell men's lacrosse team has advanced to the NCAA Final Four. The Big Red got outstanding efforts throughout the lineup in a 14-5 victory over Army on Sunday afternoon at LaVelle Stadium in Stony Brook, N.Y. Cornell jumped out to an early 4-1 lead and then used a tremendous six-goal run after halftime to put the game away. Cornell will face Notre Dame on Saturday, May 29 at Ravens Stadium in Baltimore, Md. at 4 p.m.
Senior Ryan Hurley had four goals and an assist, while freshman Steve Mock tallied three goals. Sophomore attackman Rob Pannell chipped in two goals and two assists and senior long pole midfielder Pierce Derkac handed out two assists.
Defensively, the Big Red was anchored by junior Max Feely, freshman Mike Bronzino and freshman netminder AJ Fiore. Feely was outstanding, holding Army’s Jeremy Boltus to just one goal, while Bronzino was all over the field, scoring a goal, picking up two ground balls and causing one turnover. In between the pipes, Fiore posted 11 saves and allowed just four goals in the first 53:47 to earn the victory.
Army (11-6) saw five different players find the scoring column as Tyler Seymour was the Black Knights only multi-point scorer with one goal and one assist. In cage, Tom Palesky stopped 11 shots but allowed all 14 Big Red goals in 58:55 of action.
Cornell (12-5) held the edge in shots (37-33) and ground balls (38-24), but Army won 13-of-23 face-offs and scored on 2-of-5 extra-man opportunities, while holding the Big Red scoreless on two tries.
The Big Red struck first with a lucky bounce as Pannell sent a pass in front of the crease which was intended for Roy Lang, but the sophomore midfielder missed the catch. Luckily, David Lau was there to pick the ball off the turf and score from close range to put Cornell up, 1-0.
Two goals in a span of 12 seconds gave the Big Red a 3-0 lead at the 9:46 mark. The first tally was fired home by Hurley from point-blank range off a pretty feed from Chris Langton. Cornell won the restart as Derkac picked up a hard-fought groundball and fed Mock, who had a clear path to the goal and beat Palesky down low.
Jack Dudley set up Cornell’s next goal as he faked a shot, drew the defender, and then dumped to Hurley on the doorstep, who spun and found the back of the net.
A great individual effort from Jeremy Boltus got Army on the board as he spun around the crease with a defender on his shoulder and beat Fiore up high to make it a 4-1 game with just over two minutes to play in the opening quarter.
After winning the ensuing face-off, the Big Red turned the ball over, giving the Black Knights the final possession of the quarter, but the visitors couldn’t convert and Cornell took the 4-1 lead into the first break.
After winning the second quarter face-off, Palesky made a nice save on a shot by Lau and a Cornell penalty gave Army a 30-second man-up opportunity. A stifling defense knocked the ball to the ground and sent the Big Red in transition the other way. Seconds later, Hurley found Mock and the rookie attackman tallied his second of the contest to put Cornell up, 5-1 at the 12:52 mark.
Just over two minutes later, Hurley pushed the advantage to five goals with a great dodge to the cage.
Army regained possession on the face-off and earned another man-up opportunity, this time for a minute, but a turnover allowed the Big Red to kill it off. The Cornell possession was short-lived, however, and a turnover sent the ball back to the Black Knight’s offense and Army converted when Devin Lynch scored off a pass from Rob McCallion.
A tremendous battle at the face-off was won by Cornell’s Max Feely and the junior defender, feeling the confidence from his game-winning goal last time out, streaked to the goal and beat Palesky with a bullet up high.
Another penalty gave Army its next goal, as a blocked shot squirted through traffic to the right-side of the crease, where Garret Thul picked it up and deposited it in the back of the net to make it a 7-3 contest with 3:57 to go in the half.
Mock restored the five goal lead to the Big Red with 2:02 showing on the clock and the teams headed into the locker with Cornell up, 8-3.
Defense was the name of the game early in the third quarter with great saves and defensive plays on both ends of the field before a one-minute man-up opportunity led to an Army goal from Tyler Oates to make it an 8-4 contest at the 9:06 mark.
Hurley gave the five-goal lead back to Cornell as he dodged past his defender and beat Palesky on a great high-to-low shot. Just under four minutes later, back-to-back goals by Pannell put the Big Red up, 11-4, with 3:57 to play in the third.
A Cornell penalty with 34 seconds left in the quarter gave the Black Knights a chance to score, but a big save by Fiore preserved the lead and sent the Big Red into the final intermission up 11-4.
Cornell struck first in the fourth quarter as Pannell found Lau cutting to the goal and Lau converted to make it a 12-4 game at the 10:53 mark. Just over four minutes later, back-to-back goals by a pair of defenders gave Cornell the 14-4 lead with 6:13 to play. Both goals were career firsts as freshman Mike Bronzino scored before senior Andrew MacDonald.
Army closed out the scoring with a goal from Tyler Seymour, who beat Cornell’s Mat Martinez on the only shot he faced, with 4:28 to play to account for the 14-5 final.
Photos by Rich Barnes.
|Ryan Hurley||(4, 1)|
|Rob Pannell||(2, 2)|
|Steve Mock||(3, 0)|
|David Lau||(2, 0)|
|Pierce Derkac||(0, 2)|
|Mike Bronzino||(1, 0)|
|Chris Langton||(0, 1)|
|Jack Dudley||(0, 1)|
|Andrew Macdonald||(1, 0)|
|Max Feely||(1, 0)|
|Aj Fiore||11 (0.733)|
|Mat Martinez||0 (0.000)|