The Cornell Big Red assured themselves at least a share of the Ivy League title with their 10-6 win against Princeton Saturday afternoon. In front of a crowd of nearly 11,000, Jeff Tambroni’s squad executed a solid game-plan on both sides of the field. With the win, Cornell stays undefeated and atop the polls.
CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESS RELEASE
ITHACA, N.Y. - In a battle that featured two of the best goalkeepers in the nation, it's clear that the advantage went to Cornell University as Matt McMonagle matched a career-best with 19 saves and the No. 1 Big Red defeated No. 5 Princeton in front of 10,721 spectators, including members of the 1977 undefeated national championship team, at Schoellkopf Field. With his performance today, McMonagle moves into fifth place in Cornell history with 494 career saves, surpassing National Lacrosse Hall of Fame member, Butch Hilliard.
With the victory, Cornell remains perfect on the season, improving to 11-0 overall and 5-0 in the conference, ensuring itself at least a share of the Ivy League title for the fifth-straight season. The victory also clinches the conferences' automatic berth to the NCAA tournament for Cornell, as every team other than Princeton has at least two losses, and the Big Red now owns the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Tigers.
The Big Red was led by John Glynn's game-high four points on three goals and one assist, while Henry Bartlett and Brian Clayton tallied two goals and one assist each. Eric Pittard also had three points on the afternoon, thanks to a team-high two helpers, and Max Seibald was Cornell's only other multi-point scorer with one goal and one assist.
For the second straight season, defenseman Mitch Belisle shut down Princeton's main offensive threat, holding Peter Trombino to just one assist, while the Tigers were led by Whitney Hayes' two goals.
Princeton held the edge in virtually every statistical category, except for saves, where Alex Hewit stopped 10 shots and allowed 10 goals in the loss. The Tigers outshot Cornell, 45-19, and held a slight 31-29 advantage in ground balls. Princeton converted 1-of-6 extra-man opportunities, while holding the Big Red scoreless on its two chances.
The Big Red held a slim edge in face-offs, winning 10-of-19 as Tommy Schmicker's 7-of-15 performance was bolstered by Glynn's 3-of-4 effort.
Cornell jumped on top right away as Pittard found Glynn streaking towards the crease and the sophomore midfielder one-timed it into the back of the net to make it 1-0 just 43 seconds into the contest.
After several failed offensive opportunities by the Big Red, Princeton got on the board when Scott Sowanick scored from close range off a pass from Trombino to knot the game at 1-1 at the 10:51 mark.
The home team went back on top with three unanswered goals, making it 4-1 with just under five minutes to play in the opening quarter.
The Big Red's first goal in the sequence came from Seibald, who took a pass from Clayton, and sent a rocket in from 15-yards out. Casey Lewis put Cornell up, 3-1, with 7:17 to play in the quarter as he ripped a worm-burner between Hewit's legs. The Big Red run ended with a goal from Glynn, who converted from 15-yards out off a pass from Bartlett.
The Tigers responded less than two minutes later, however, as a turnover deep in Cornell's offensive end led to a break the other way and Tommy Davis found Alex Haynie all alone right in front of the crease, where he converted to make it 4-2.
The first goal of the second quarter was a carbon-copy of the Big Red's first goal of the game, with Glynn taking a pass from Pittard and one-timing it into the back of the net from just outside the crease to make it 5-2 with just 58 seconds burned of the clock.
Both teams' defenses locked down for the rest of the quarter, however, and Cornell got six big saves from McMonagle, including two from point blank range in the final 1:29 of the half, to keep the Big Red in the contest.
The action came fast and furious at the start of the third stanza with the teams combining for four goals in the first 2:22 of the quarter.
The Big Red struck first off the opening face-off as Clayton ripped a high shot from 10-yards out to make it 6-2 at the 13:59 mark. Princeton came right back, however, with a man-up goal as Davis took a pass from Sowanick on the doorstep and beat McMonagle up high.
Back to-back goals from Cornell 10 seconds apart put the home team up, 8-3, at the 12:28 mark. The first came from Pittard, who beat Hewit low off a pass from Veddar, while the second came from Bartlett, who took a pass from George Calvert, faked high and scored low, from just outside the crease.
Hayes ended the Cornell scoring run as he picked up the ball behind the cage on a restart, wrapped around the crease and beat McMonagle up high to make it 8-4 with 7:11 to play in the third quarter.
The Big Red stormed right back, scoring 38 seconds later, as Bartlett converted off a pass from Seibald to make it 9-4.
Princeton reversed the trend established in the first three quarters by scoring first in the final stanza as Mark Kovler beat his man and sprinted untouched towards the cage to score from point-blank range to make it 9-5 with 13:39 to play in the contest.
Just under two minutes later, the Big Red extended its lead as Clayton, streaking towards the goal, received a pass from Glynn and scored on the run from 10-yards out.
Hayes brought the Tigers back within four as he scored an unassisted goal at the 8:18, but Princeton was unable to score again as Cornell held on for the 10-6 victory.
PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS RELEASE
This was not the start that Princeton's men's lacrosse team was hoping for out of its showdown against No. 1 Cornell. As a result, the end wasn't what the Tigers wanted either.
Cornell used a fast start to take control en route to a 10-6 win over No. 5 Princeton in front of 10,721 sun-baked fans at Schoellkopf Field Saturday afternoon. The win improved Cornell to 11-0 on the season, clinched at least a tie for the Ivy League title and earned the league's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Princeton fell to 8-3, 3-1 in the Ivy League, as its seven-game winning streak was snapped.
"We talked about the importance of getting off to a good start," said Princeton coach Bill Tierney. "Unfortunately, that didn't happen. You have to give them a lot of credit."
Cornell came into the game with the nation's top offense, averaging 14.9 goals per game. Princeton came in with the top defense, allowing 5.5 goals per game. Princeton had also allowed just five first quarter goals in 10 games prior to this one.
Cornell would score its first goal in 43 seconds and would score four by the end of the first quarter. In addition, Princeton lost All-America defenseman Zachary Jungers, one of 17 final nominees for the Tewaaraton Trophy, to a knee injury that he first suffered during the week in practice and then aggravated during the game.
"That didn't help," Tierney said of losing Jungers. "But you can't take anything away from Cornell. They're a great offensive team. When you look at most teams, you look at their weaknesses. When you look at them, you don't really see any. If you take away one thing, somebody else steps up."
In this case, it was Cornell's midfield. Princeton, even without Jungers, did a good job against Cornell's attack, holding the high-flying Big Red attackman without a goal until the third quarter. Unfortunately, when the Big Red did a goal from up front, it was back-breaking.
Princeton trailed 5-2 at intermission after neither team scored for the final 14:02 of the second quarter. Cornell scored a quick goal early in the third quarter to make it 6-2, but the Tigers answered on Tommy Davis' goal a minute later to make it 6-3.
Cornell would win the next face-off and score on Eric Pittard's goal 13 seconds after Davis scored. To make it worse, Cornell won the next face-off and scored 10 seconds later, when fellow attackman Henry Bartlett scored to make it a five-goal game. Princeton would get no closer than four the rest of the way.
Princeton, outshot 94-34 by Cornell the last two years combined, would outshoot the Big Red 45-29, but the Big Red defense did a great job of forcing shots from the outside, which enabled goalie Matt McMonagle to clean up in the goal.
Whitney Hayes would score twice for Princeton, while Davis, Scott Sowanick, Alex Haynie and Mark Kovler had one each. Midfielder John Glynn scored all three of his goals in the first half for the Big Red.
Alex Hewit made 10 saves for the Tigers; McMonagle made 19 for Cornell.
Princeton hosts Dartmouth next Saturday and Brown the following Saturday. Cornell concludes its Ivy League schedule at Brown next weekend; Princeton needs a Cornell loss in that game and two wins of its own to force a tie for the league title.
Either Cornell or Princeton has won the Ivy title 41 times in the first 51 years of league play.
|John Glynn||(3, 1)|
|Henry Bartlett||(2, 1)|
|Brian Clayton||(2, 1)|
|Eric Pittard||(1, 2)|
|Max Seibald||(1, 1)|
|Ethan Vedder||(0, 1)|
|Rocco Romero||(0, 1)|
|George Calvert||(0, 1)|
|Casey Lewis||(1, 0)|
|Matt Mcmonagle||19 (0.760)|