Duke goalie Dan Loftus would start the game hot, and continue that play all throughout the game. Duke pole Parker McKee lost control of the ball off of the face and Cornell broke down the middle of the field. Attackman Henry Bartlett got the bump pass low on the pipe and was stoned by Loftus, then Cornell pole Matt Moyer snared the rebound in the middle of the hole and Loftus rejected the put-back. The scrum in the crease after save number two earned Duke close defenseman (and now 1st Team AA) Casey Carroll a whopping 2:00 penalty for an illegal bodycheck.
The Big Red started in a circle on the EMO and pulled up the attackmen to move to a 3-3. Middie Brian Clayton threw the ball away on a high to low thread, and Loftus initiated a clear which saw Zack Greer control inside the opposite box. But Duke had an awful lot of keep-away to play to kill the full 2:00 and an eventual Cornell double picked the ball and sent it right back to the Cornell man-up. And Cornell would convert that EMO for the first score of the game. Duke defenseman Tony McDevitt was battling Eric Pittard and David Mitchell for a loose ball on the sidelines that Mitchell eventually won. He dropped it off to Pittard as the two moved down the goalline, and once McDevitt chose to challenge Pittard below the GLE, Pittard bumped it right back to Mitchell in shooting space. Mitchell dropped his stick and stuck a lefty low to high rip.
Cornell won the next face and took their chances on a couple of drives from behind: once with a wide turn-and-shoot and again with high quick stick from right on the doorstep. But Loftus held strong, grabbed a save and directed the clear. Upon the clear, Duke shortstick defenseman Ed Douglas stopped his run to the box for a sub, and Cornell's Casey Lewis stayed with him above the box, effectively allowing the rest of the Duke offense to go 5 on 5. Duke almost closed on the advantage, but frosh Max Quinzani muffed a cross-crease feed from Danowski as Max Q cut wide open towards the right pipe from the top right of the box. Middie Brad Ross took a run that came up empty and Duke twice got the ball back from turnovers because of Cornell loose ball pushes.
Cornell was shutting off Zack Greer with shorti Danny Nathan. So Duke decided to challenge from the top of the box with their middies. It would work once Ned Crotty dive bombed from top center on pole Andrew MacDonald, leaned left, spun back to his right and beat Matt McMonagle stick side high with a blast to tie it 1-1.
Both teams would answer each other again. Cornell won the next face and ripped from the right side, only to have the blast hit the pipe squarely and ricochet over to Brian Clayton set up in the righty shooter's spot. He was all alone and burned Loftus stick side high. But Duke responded with a nice sneak from X by Danowski; Ned Crotty was hovering on the left wing with the ball and noticed Cornell's defense with their heads all facing forward. Danowski grabbed the feed underneath Mitch Belisle's zone and sunk the layup as he turned the corner.
Cornell stopper McMonagle snubbed Greer on the ensuing Duke run and then hit attackman Bartlett right from the save, giving Cornell numbers on a slow break. But Casey Carroll would break up the feed down low to Mitchell and then give it back to Cornell on a push call. Duke goes for their first TO on the day.
Two more scores would end the first quarter. Cornell middie Max Seibald was being marked by pole Nick O'Hara, so he decided to pass off to Eric Pittard, who then broke to his left from behind the goal and snapped a nice feed to Bartlett in the middle. Bartlett grabbed it in stride and hit an overhand on the run for a 3-2 lead.
But on the very next possession Duke Danoski pulled a lefty power drive around the pipe, rolled back into a double, drop stepped, and fed Greer across the crease for an easy right hander with no pressure.
Two insane saves followed from Loftus, the first on a Seibald high to low dump, the second on a tight feed to the crease after Eric Pittard gathered the ball behind with Duke's defense still scrambling to check up after the first save.
The second quarter started with Duke's Terrence Molinari grabbing the face after a long ground ball, one in which Cornell got flagged for a slash as Duke moved it upfield. On the following man-up, McMonagle gobbled up the first shot, allowing to middies Seibald and Glynn to play keepaway for a while on the other end. After the penalty was killed off, Cornell retained control and Duke was trying to deny Seibald the ball by extending pretty high above the box.
McDevitt then gave Duke a chance to control when he grabbed a loose ball from a Loftus chest save, but when middie Brad Ross let loose on the other end with a rip it rebounded right to a Cornell pole. Cornell then controlled for while, moving the ball and driving counter clockwise, all while getting some good opportunities and openings, until Seibald ended the run by diving into the crease on a failed layup and Cornell's John Espey. Duke shorti Michael Ward then stripped John Espey while on a lefty drive and Ward legged it out himself for the clear. Once Duke touched it in the box they called TO with 6:00 remaining in the half.
Duke started ripping it from up top, but missed the cage high and wide. After one of those misses, Matt Danowski snagged the shot at X and fed to Max Q tight on the left pipe, but Cornell collapsed with two poles right away and stripped him. But Cornell threw it away on the clear and Duke came right down their throat again with Lamade at the point. Lamade drove from the top right of the box, saw Brad Ross cutting in at the same depth on the right side, and fed it across the hole for a Ross lefty overhand jumper that gave Duke a 4-3 lead.
After a short Cornell possession, Danowski controlled at the top of the box in traffic, then drove down towards the right pipe with two hands on the stick, cranking it on the run only to ping the pipe and have it rebound out to Rocco Romero, who cleared for the Big Red. Cornell then calls their first TO. But it didn't work; Duke would score three more times to close out the half.
It went to 5-3 after Duke's Michael Ward picked a pass during a Cornell man-up, fed it to Quinzani towards the top of the box, who then bumped it down to Greer camped out on the crease. Greer just turned and redirected right in front of McMonagle. Then right from the next faceoff, Duke wing pole Parker McKee took it straight down the pipe with a smooth face dodge and top shelf rip from in close to make it 6-3. Duke would get one more in short order after Loftus snapped up a weak Cornell shot and Brad Ross took it across midfield and settled at the top left of the box. Cornell was slow getting back on defense and left longpole Nick O'Hara alone across from Ross. Ross delayed passing for a moment, unsure of whether he really should give it to a pole, but once he pulled the trigger, O'Hara turned around to shoot righty and nailed it on a deflected shot to close the half with a 7-3 lead.
Attendance was announced at halftime: a record 52,004.
Cornell jumped all over the face and Matt Moyer legged it into the zone but forced a pass into the pipe. Once Duke cleared Danowski took his turn at forcing into the middle and Moyer again legged another clear himself. Once it was pushed behind Bartlett snuck around the pipe with the ball but Loftus closed the five hole. An extended possession for Duke ensued, with middies Carrington and Mike Catalino taking drives until Cornell pole Andrew MacDonald beat out a shot to the sideline. But Duke would recover possession shortly after another solid Loftus save and push their lead to 8-3. Greer found himself wide open on the crease after Cornell looked a little unsettled on a shot, and Danowski (as he often can do) snagged a wide shot in a clean swipe and directed it right back to Greer for the dunk.
After a :30 second push call on Cornell's Seibald, Duke dropped into an EMO 2-3-1 until Ned Crotty pushed too tight of a feed into the middle, and pole Ethan Vedder bolted out of the pack. But Matt Danowski would actually pick him on the other end with good riding that carried over to the other end of the field. Once Duke recovered the loose ball, Crotty would take it from the top of the box again. With Cornell's Nich Gradinger D-ing him up, Crotty veered right, spun back to his left, and nailed a lefty jumping overhand to the top left corner to make it 9-3. Gradinger threw his stick down in digust.
Duke would control again, and right after McMonagle stoned a Greer layup on a Danowski feed from X, Duke recovered and expanded their lead even more. After a casual wing pass from Greer behind to Fred Krom on the righty wing, Krom stepped up and torched one to the top corner. McMonagle seemed surprised Krom even shot, let alone that he got burned by it.
Just as it was starting to look like Duke was running away with the game, Cornell inspired their fan base to get back into it. Eric Pittard drove around lefty from X and drew a push call on Casey Carroll. Within the first 5 seconds of the EMO Cornell converted. Max Seibald, at the top of the box, bumped it to Mitchell on the lefty wing, nothing special. But Mitchell dropped his head and burned it by Loftus for a 10-4 deficit.
Two more for the Big Red to end the third at 10-5. Eric Pittard was shaking and baking on Ed Douglas from X, and got Douglas to lose a step. Pittard pulled his stick over his head, slipped inside and fed middie Mike Corbolotti cutting right on the pipe. Corbolotti buried it with ease. On the very next possession, Cornell's Chris Finn drove righty from behind the goal and found Mitchell cutting opposite low. Mitchell stuck it with Loftus moving across the mouth of the goal to make it 10-6. The looks that Cornell had been getting all game were now finally being converted. Time on the third quarter would run out right after the next face.
The fourth started with a Danowski shot at no angle as turned back to the pipe. He then held Mitch Belisle as the close defenseman was clearing, giving Cornell an EMO for :30 seconds. Duke held strong, but just as the penalty had expired some Duke poles were still in mandown formation, in front of the goal, and confused. Eric Pittard, operating at X, noticed the bad transition from man-down to all even, and fed Mitchell in a gap in the crease. Mitchell danced thru traffic and sunk it lefty on the crease to close it to 10-7 and ignite the Cornell crowd.
Cornell was starting to press out on the middies a lot higher, sensing the time constraints on them. And Duke Brad Ross would take advantage of the extra room to operate. Ross drove from the top right, bent in to his left and nailed it lefty on the run, beating McMonagle high for an 11-7 score.
But in a sign of things to come, Brian Clayton iso'd on the very first play after the face, taking a power drive down the right hand side. He nailed a sidearm high on the run to make it 11-8. Cornell retained possession after the next face. Seibald tried to drive right from the top of the box and was thrown to the ground. He looked like he could barely run because of an injured calf, and almost couldn't make it back down the field to pick up his man, leaving McMonagle to make two outrageous saves. One of those saves was on Duke's Carrington,who then slashed his defenseman from behind on the ensuing loose ball for a Cornell EMO.
Cornell took advantage of the penalty. Attackman Christian Pastirik set up shop on the right wing. Duke just gave him too much room, he kept stepping into the open space, then wound up and nailed it righty low. Duke called timeout on the dead ball, with their lead now a tenuous 11-9.
Duke pushed the next face forward but Danowski got a little too lazy (or more likely given the heat on the day, tired) while backing in from the middle while Duke was subbing on the fly. He got stripped from behind and McMonagle snagged the ground ball as it dribbled behind. Cornell cleared and moved it up to middie Rocco Romero who then furthered a routine pass to Casey Lewis on the lefty wing. Lewis dropped his stick and burned Loftus at the ankles to close Duke's lead to one.. Nothing special about the play or the positioning, just a good shot with about 6:00 left.
Duke then controlled, with Crotty holding court at the top of the box after a rough and tumble loose ball that saw Danowski leveled by a clean hit. Some rotation followed, a run from Brad Ross, and then Danowski throw it away in an attempted high to low feed. Cornell then took a couple of runs themselves until Loftus snared a mid-range shot to his stick-side hip. Duke cleared, got a little ball rotation and then called TO with 2:05 left.
After play resumed, Danowski was playing keep-away with Belisle all over him; Ethan Vedder eventually doubled, pick-pocketed Danowski then legged out the clear. Cornell got it in the box and called a TO of their own with 1:22 remaining. Cornell then worked it around the horn, tested the waters with their attackmen behind and settled on giving the injured Seibald a chance to power it from the top of the box. But Duke pole O'Hara lifted Seibald's elbow and forced the ball to the ground. Cornell recovered on a failed Duke clear that featured an outlet pass without enough gas. That would set up Cornell's last hope. Middie Brian Clayton drove straight down to the right pipe and hit it low and away
on a rightly blast that tied the game at just :17 seconds. Ravens stadium erupted, and Cornell celebrated like the game was over, It wasn't.
Duke won the next face and got it to Peter Lamade at the top of the box. Lamade forced it into the man with the best hands. Zack Greer had his shoulders turned away from the goal and someone all over his hands already. He somehow managed to grab the force feed from Lamade (which had perfect placement), while Lamade was jogging in from the top of the box. Greer turned to the outside and stuck it lefty with just :03 left. The clock ran out on the face.
Duke will face Hopkins on Monday in a rematch of 2005's title game.
Duke vs. Cornell
|David Mitchell||(4, 0)|
|Eric Pittard||(0, 4)|
|Brian Clayton||(3, 0)|
|Chris Finn||(0, 1)|
|Christian Pastirik||(1, 0)|
|Rocco Romero||(0, 1)|
|Casey Lewis||(1, 0)|
|Mike Corbolotti||(1, 0)|
|Henry Bartlett||(1, 0)|
|Max Seibald||(0, 1)|