SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Cornell men’s lacrosse team opened its season with an impressive 10-7 victory over in-state rival Hobart this evening at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y. The win is the Big Red’s seventh consecutive victory in a season opener, as well as its seventh straight over the Statesmen.
Cornell (1-0) was led by All-American Rob Pannell with five points on two goals and three assists, while Ryan Hurley, Scott Austin and Mitch McMichael all added two goals apiece. Jon Thomson also had two points with one goal and one assist and Chris Ritchie rounded out the scoring with one goal. Midfielders Roy Lang and Chris Langton each tallied one assist.
Hobart (0-1) was led by Kevin Curtin and Doug Shiver with two goals apiece, while Tim Begelow had a team-high three points on one goal and two assists.
In his first collegiate game, freshman AJ Fiore was impressive with nine saves, while Hobart’s seasoned veteran Max Silberlicht stopped 13.
The Statesmen held the slight advantage on face-offs, winning 10-of-19 restarts, with Austin Boykin winning 6-of-11 tries for Cornell.
The Big Red held the slight edge in shots, 37-32, but picked up 34 ground balls to Hobart’s 22. Cornell also cleared the ball safely 16-of-17 times, while the Statesmen cleared just 14-of-20, due in large part to the 16 turnovers forced by Cornell. The Big Red turned the ball over just 12 times.
Cornell was not penalized during the game, while Hobart was flagged for five infractions. The Big Red scored on 2-of-5 extra-man chances.
“Hobart is a veteran group and we are just so young in so many positions that we are thrilled to come out of this game with a win,” said head coach Jeff Tambroni. “We’re still looking for an identity on offense and in the midfield but our defense really played with great maturity and kept us in this game.”
The Big Red jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first five minutes of action on goals by Ritchie, Thomson and Austin. Thomson’s goal was scored on a man-up opportunity.
Hobart scored back-to-back goals to end the first and start the second period, making it a 3-2 game with just over eight minutes to play until halftime, but Cornell responded with three straight tallies to go up 6-2. Pannell and Hurley had a hand in all three of those goals with Pannell assisting on a goal by Hurley, before they each scored an unassisted goal.
The Statesmen closed the half with a goal from Curtin to cut the Big Red lead to 6-3 going into the intermission.
After Hobart scored the first goal in the third period to make it a two-goal game, Cornell closed the quarter with three straight tallies to push the lead to 9-4. Once again, Pannell was instrumental in all three goals, assisting on two and scoring one.
The Statesmen outscored Cornell, 3-1, in the final period to account for the 10-7 final with the lone Cornell goal in the period coming in a man-up situation by McMichael.
The Big Red is back in action on Tuesday, March 2, as it travels to Canisius to take on the Golden Griffins at the Demske Sports Complex at 4 p.m.