Cornell vs. Army
Cornell vs. Army
Final Statistics: #19/20 Army 11, #6/5 Cornell 9
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Junior midfielder Devin Lynch tallied a career-high four goals and senior goalkeeper Tom Palesky posted 17 saves in keying #19/20 Army to an 11-9 win over #6/5 Cornell in the Black Knights' home opener on Saturday afternoon at Michie Stadium. Army's first win over a nationally ranked opponent this season, Saturday also marked Cornell's first loss of the year.
The marquee upset marked Army's (2-2) first win over Cornell (2-1) since 2005, avenged a 14-5 loss to the Big Red in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament and was head coach Joe Alberici's first victory over the Ivy League power.
"It was a great effort today. Our coaching staff, players and myself, we have ultimate respect for Cornell as a program," Alberici said. "That's what makes this one so gratifying. We had to go out there and really earn it. Devin Lynch was definitely a catalyst for us today. Our midfield dodging has been a point of emphasis this year and to see him get to the net as many times as he did was good.
"Andy Boyd and Tyler Kamide came up big today as well," Alberici added. "We got what we expected from Jeremy (Boltus) and Garrett (Thul), and Derek Sipperly really battled today on the face-off. Defensively, Bill Henderson had one of the toughest jobs of the day covering Rob Pannell. I thought he did a fabulous job against one of the top attackmen in the country. Tim Henderson scored and had six ground balls, but the biggest one for me today was number four (Tom Palesky) in the cage. He was outstanding and came up big in a lot of huge situations."
A back-and-forth contest throughout much of the first half, the teams entered the locker room tied, 6-6, at the break. Cornell junior attackman Rob Pannell opened the second half scoring and completed his hat trick on the day, giving the Big Red a 7-6 lead just 1:01 into the third quarter.
Army owned the remainder of the third quarter, stringing together five-straight goals and holding Cornell scoreless over the final 13:39. Sophomore attackman Garrett Thul scored back-to-back to get the run going, his second coming on a turnaround shot to the back of the net at the 6:30 mark to give the Black Knights an 8-7 edge. Army went man-up around the six-minute mark of the third and senior attackman Jeremy Boltus took advantage as he snared a pass from sophomore midfielder Pat Brennan and struck close-range with 5:36 on the clock.
The Black Knights were not done yet, as Lynch tallied his third and fourth goals of the afternoon, both unassisted. Lynch's first came on the run with 3:25 left and the second when he got his own rebound off a missed shot and buried the ball past Cornell goalkeeper A.J. Fiori with 57 seconds remaining in the third. Army held an 11-7 lead heading into the final 15 minutes.
"We came into this game with a lot of respect for Cornell and wanted to get this one for the seniors," Lynch said coming off a career day. "We respect their program. They come out with a lot of energy just like us. We practiced hard this week and really focused for this one. It felt good out there. We had the support of the attack as always. It was nice to get some production from the midfield, since that has really been a focus this season. We were just running and gunning, and letting it go."
Cornell held Army scoreless for the rest of the game, but could not dig out of the four-goal hole over the final 15 minutes. Cody Bremner's goal at the 7:22 mark of the fourth quarter ended a 21:21 scoreless drought for the Big Red and pulled them within three goals (11-8). Taylor Matt scored man-up at the 4:41 mark, but Army's defense would surrender no more as the Black Knights held on for the victory.
Pannell scored the first of his two first-half goals just 1:03 into the action. Boltus did not let the Big Red lead last long as he netted his first goal of the day at the 10:05 mark. Army's Pat Brennan took advantage of a transition opportunity and found Boltus to get Army on the board.
Both teams scored twice in the first quarter with Army's second goal coming from rookie standout Tyler Kamide at the 8:06 mark. Army and Cornell traded goals in the second quarter, each scoring four times. Lynch tallied Army's final two goals, while sophomore attackman Andrew Boyd and junior long stick midfielder Tim Henderson, who finished with a season-high six ground balls, laced a bullet past Fiori from just inside the box at the 6:27 mark.
Pannell led Cornell with three goals and did not tally an assist for the first time this season. Bremner totaled two goals.
"This is a game we really wanted," Palesky said following his 17-save effort. "We've lost to Cornell too many times, so it was good to finally pull through for the senior class. They have some really good shooters and we really respect that. Our defense stepped up and played great today."
Cornell out-shot Army by a 42-27 margin and held a 27-21 edge in ground balls. Each team won 12 face-offs. Army was 2-of-4 on extra man opportunities, while Cornell was 1-of-5.
Army has a short week before hitting the road for a Friday afternoon contest at Bryant at noon.