One final game separates the Cornell Big Red Men’s Lacrosse team from one of the final spots in the Ivy League Lacrosse Tournament. Holding off of the Brown Bears, 12-9, has helped keep the chances alive.
On Saturday, April 20, the Big Red took on the Brown Bears, hoping to string together two wins in a row since a hard-fought loss on the road to Syracuse on April 9. With a win, the Big Red put themselves into a win-and-your-in scenario, this Saturday, against the Princeton Tigers.
The final road game of the season for the Big Red started with another quick start, offensively, when senior Jake McCulloch scored just 58 seconds into the contest. The fast start is nothing unfamiliar to the Big Red, a team that has scored the opening goal in seven of its 13 games so far. The opening goal comes just five seconds slower for McCulloch, who opened the scoring in the win over Harvard with a goal 53 seconds into the game.
Brown tied the game at 1-1 less than two minutes later, but would soon see the deadlock broken, as the Big Red strung together three straight goals from Cooper Telesco, Clarke Petterson, and John Piatelli to end the opening quarter. Cornell has seen the offensive success as a way of answering opponents’ game-tying or go-ahead goals throughout the season.
That trend would continue into the beginning parts of the second quarter when Jeff Teat and Petterson would combine for a pair of goals before the Bears would find a way to answer, albeit a small one, with a goal of their own. At the end of the first half of action, the Big Red held a commanding 7-2 lead over the Bears, a great sign of a well-oiled offense that will need to have a strong start against Penn or Yale in the league tournament.
Out of the halftime break, Cornell looked as though it was going to start another run of multiple goals when McCulloch opened the quarter with his second goal of the game. From this point, Cornell seemed like a vastly different team than the one that had a six-goal lead at the end of the first.
In a two-and-a-half-minute span, the Bears made it a ballgame, scoring three in a row to cut the lead to 8-5 for Cornell.
Of the following four goals that were scored in the game, three of them belonged to the Bears, separating the previous three from the new run by a Cornell goal by McCulloch.
Cornell would go on to score a three-goal run of its own with a goal from Connor Fletcher coming before a pair of tallies from Piatelli.
While the late surge by the Big Red shows the endurance and drive of the team, the second half showing from Brown raises questions of the Big Red squad that will likely be the third-seeded team in the tournament with a win over Princeton this weekend.
Providing the Big Red prevail over the Tigers, who are currently 7-6 on the season but have won four straight games, the matchup with Penn or Yale could cause headaches for Cornell.
The loss to the Penn Quakers looked similar to the win over Brown, as the Big Red jumped out ahead of the Quakers, 5-2, but saw the game slip away when the Penn strung together a four-goal run in the fourth quarter. The Big Red was outscored 7-4 in the final frame.
The Big Red’s defeat to the Yale Bulldogs came as an opposite to the Penn game, seeing the bulk of the Bulldogs’ scoring done in the first half. Cornell’s ability to start quickly could help keep a game with Yale close into the second half. From that point, the Big Red will need to avoid dipping in productivity, otherwise, the efficient Yale offense will provide a second loss to the Big Red. This weekend will provide a true test for the Big Red to meet the challenge head-on and prepare for the Ivy League Tournament.
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