ITHACA, N.Y. – The No. 8 Cornell men's lacrosse team rallied from a 4-2 deficit early in the second quarter with five unanswered goals, including two goals from junior All-American Max Seibald, to clinch a share of the Ivy League title with an 11-7 victory over No. 17 Brown on Saturday afternoon at Schoellkopf Field. The win, coupled with Princeton's 11-9 loss at Dartmouth, puts the Big Red, Tigers and Brown in a tie atop the league standings with one loss apiece. Brown and Princeton will meet next weekend.
For the sixth-straight year, Cornell earns at least a share of the Ivy League title, the longest such streak in the nation. The Big Red also runs its home conference winning-streak to 15 games.
“The preparation for this game started at about 2 a.m. on Saturday night when we got back from our Princeton game,” said head coach Jeff Tambroni. “We sat in that locker room for about 20 minutes with our team and pretty much laid it on the line in terms of the direction of our program and we were either going to start playing more passionately for each other or we were going to continue to just plod along. To the credit of our guys, and our seniors in particular, they did a great job of rallying the group this week and just had a fiercely fought week of preparation and practice and I think that’s were this game was won.”
Ryan Hurley led the Big Red with four goals and one assist, while John Espey added three goals on just five shots. John Glynn added a goal and two assists and Rocco Romero picked up a pair of assists.
Brown (10-3, 4-1) was led by Kyle Hollingsworth with four goals and Thomas Muldoon with two goals.
Jake Myers got the victory for the Big Red, picking up 13 saves in goal, while Jordan Burke, one of the top goalies in the nation, made nine stops in a losing effort for Brown.
After several missed chances by both teams to open up the contest, the teams traded goals just 34 seconds apart with Cornell getting on the board first when Glynn converted a pass from Romero at the 12:56 mark. Hollingsworth knotted the game when he took the ball from behind the net, wrapped around the front of the cage and beat Myers down low.
Hollingsworth pushed the Bears’ lead to 2-1 with a near carbon-copy of his first tally with 11:24 left to play in the first quarter.
A Big Red turnover led to a fast-break the other way and once again Hollingsworth found the back of the net, blasting a shot from six yards out to make it a 3-1 game.
Cornell enjoyed a two-man advantage for 30 seconds, but was unable to convert and a solid save by Burke sent the ball back to the Bears.
Some solid defense by the Big Red and great hustle by Danny Nathan as he backed up a wide shot gave the ball back to Cornell and the Big Red converted when Chris Ritchie sent a pass from behind the net to Hurley as he cut towards the goal and scored from just outside the crease.
The teams traded possessions for the final 2:32 of the quarter and with less than five seconds remaining; Myers made two solid saves, one from point-blank range, to keep the Big Red within striking distance heading into the second quarter.
Brown pushed its lead to two goals when Muldoon ripped a low shot past Myers, but just 3:44 later, Cornell regained the lead thanks to three goals in a span of 72 seconds.
The first goal in the run came when Seibald took a pass from Glynn and blistered a shot from 15 yards out past Burke’s feet.
Shane O’Neill knotted the game at 4-4 with perhaps the best goal of the day as he fought through his defender, eluded the slide and scored despite having a defenseman draped over his left shoulder.
Espey gave Cornell its first lead since early in the first quarter when he converted from the left hand side of the net at the 9:49 mark.
The Big Red wasn’t finished scoring as Hurley notched his 40th goal of the season, slipping through the Brown defense and beating Burke from close range to put Cornell up, 6-4 with 8:08 remaining in the quarter.
Neither team found the net again in the quarter and Cornell took the slim 6-4 lead into the intermission.
Seibald wasted little time cracking the scoreboard in the third period, drilling a shot from 15 yards out into the upper right hand corner of the goal, while being knocked to the ground by a Brown defender.
Andrew Feinberg ended a 20:30 scoring drought for the Bears when received a cross-crease pass from Jack Walsh and scored from just outside the crease to make it a 7-5 contest at the 9:53 mark.
Just under two minutes later, Muldoon turned it into a one-goal game, scoring off a pass from Walsh.
Cornell ended Brown’s mini-scoring run, as Romero threaded a pass through the Bears’ defense and hit Hurley, who scored as the ball bounce off Burke’s stick and trickled into the goal.
Hurley set up the Big Red’s next goal as he sent a pass form behind the cage to Espey, who ripped a low-to-high shot into the left side of the net from the right wing to make it a 9-6 lead with 3:19 left in the quarter.
Charlie Kenny won the ensuing face off for Brown and streaked up field, feeding Hollingsworth for his for his final goal of the game just seven seconds later.
The teams traded possessions for the final 3:12 of the quarter and the Big Red carried a 9-7 lead into the final break.
A solid save by Myers started the final stanza as he stonewalled a break-away by Brian Asher and sent the ball back into the Cornell offensive end.
Espey rewarded his goalie’s efforts, scoring an unassisted goal after a prolonged Big Red offensive possession to make it a 10-7 game with 11:27 left to play in the game.
The teams battled back-and-fourth for the next four minutes before a series of back-to-back saves by Myers led to a break the other way and Hurley converted off a pass from Glynn to make it an 11-7 game with just under six minutes remaining in the contest.
From there, the Big Red ran out the clock to take the 11-7 victory.
The Big Red will play its final regular season game at home on Friday, May 2 as it plays host to Hobart at Schoellkopf Field at 7 p.m. Cornell’s rivalry with the Statesman is the oldest in college lacrosse as the teams will meet for the 130th time.
|Ryan Hurley||(4, 1)|
|John Espey||(3, 0)|
|John Glynn||(1, 2)|
|Rocco Romero||(0, 2)|
|Max Seibald||(2, 0)|
|Christopher Ritchie||(0, 1)|
|Shane O'neill||(1, 0)|
|Jake Myers||13 (0.650)|