May 27, 2007

Men's Lacrosse Blog for the Semifinal Game Against Duke

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Pregame Thoughts

I am watching this one at home. I will be going to the final if Cornell wins today. So that means that instead of making fun of things that are happening at the game, I will mostly be making fun of ESPN2’s coverage of the game. As far as the game itself, I think the key for Cornell is to stop Matt Danowski and Zack Greer, Duke’s two best attackmen. Mitch Belisle will most likely match up against Danowski, and we will see how the Red’s team defense is able to stop these two huge weapons. By the way, the coverage on ESPN2 has been pretty much DUKE DUKE DUKE DUKE DUKE DUKE DUKE Cornell Hopkins DUKE DUKE DUKE Cornell Hopkins DUKE DUKE DUKE DUKE DUKE DUKE DUKE. I am not even sure if the commentators know who Duke is playing. The announcer just also completely butchered Max Seibald’s name. He pronounced it like “Siboald.”

First Quarter

14:22 – They finally pronounce Seibald’s name right, and then he gets injured and is on the ground. This is going to be a big problem if he is out.

7:53 – Duke is riding very well right now, and just caused a Cornell turnover.

6:21 – Mitch Belisle just headed a ball. That was crazy. Belisle is such a good player. The announcers just claimed that was the first time that has happened, ever. Um, could someone fact-check that please?

5:01 – Ned Crotty just scored for Duke. Who is named Ned anymore?

3:07 – Matt McMonagle is having a lot of trouble passing. Duke has intercepted several of his passes, giving it a lot more possessions.

1:57 – ESPN2 goes over the Duke lacrosse scandal timeline for about the 50,000th time in the last 30 minutes. Wait, so there was a scandal? And Duke’s season was canceled last year? What?

1:04 – Danowski finds Greer to even it at 3-3. Duke’s fight song is terrible. It sounds like it is being played on a kazoo.

0:20 – Dan Loftus, Duke’s goalie, just made an amazing save on Rocco Romero. He is really impressing me, given that the only two players ESPN2 focuses on is Danowski and Greer.

Second Quarter

13:23 – I like how the Baltimore Ravens logo is “greened out” on the field. So now there is an ugly logo-sized area in the middle of the field.

11:10 – Duke’s defense is doing a great job of deflecting shots and not letting Cornell reach the net.

9:20 – The announcers tell a story about how one of the Duke players wanted a school that was not all about lacrosse and was good academically as well. Uh, name me a school that doesn’t fit this criteria?

5:59 – O.K., these Warrior Lacrosse commercials are a little bit over the top. In the last one, the attackman figures out this complicated formula in his head in order to score. Somehow, I don’t think that is real.

4:55 – Duke scores to take its first lead of the game. This was also the first goal of the quarter. I didn’t know the Detroit Pistons were involved in this game.

1:16 – ESPN2 just showed highlights of the announcer’s playing career back in the late 80s and early 90s. We come back from the highlights and discover that we have missed a goal. Good job ESPN2. I don’t know about anyone else, but I do not prefer to watch the announcers play in short shorts. I want to see the game.

1:02 – Duke just scored two goals very quickly. This is not good. Cornell has not scored all quarter. It needs to take better shots.

0:28 – Duke just scored again. Now it has seven goals, more than it scored in the entire game against Cornell earlier this season.


Wow, that was probably the worst quarter Cornell played all season. It took bad shots and had trouble getting good looks. In the second half, the Red will have to avoid making mistakes and stop turning it over in the middle of the field. And it would be nice to get a face off every once in a while. By the way, ESPN2’s “expert” just said that Cornell and Duke have been No. 1 and No. 2 in the country all season. Uh, no! That could not have been more wrong. Seriously, where did they find this guy?

Third Quarter

10:33 – Cornell still cannot find the net. John Espey just missed one very wide.

9:55 – Dan Loftus make another save. This guy has been incredible, a brick wall.

9:04 – Duke scores again to make it 8-3. At this point, Cornell needs to just score and get right over the hump. Greer scored that goal, third of the day.

6:09 – Ned scores again, proving that 1950s names still have a place in today’s society.

3:46 – It is now 10-3 Duke, who is on a 8-0 run. O.K., I am sick of the Cingular commercials where the calls are dropped. The commercial would be funny, but if a call is dropped, your phone usually tells you! I don’t think that situation has ever happened to me in my life. Who would actually get emotional because someone on the other end of the phone is silent?

3:44 – Wow, they just showed Duke coach John Danowski dancing to the “Hey Song.” That was hilarious. I bet he would stop dancing if he ever attended an overtime hockey game where the band plays the “Hey Song” about 728 times.

2:23 – Mitchell just scored! I think a pig just flew outside the window.

1:11 – Mike Corbollotti just scored. This is an interesting tactic by Jeff Tambroni. He is playing guys like Corbollotti and Chritian Pastirik in order to generate some offense.

0:36 – Cornell just woke up as Mitchell scored again off of a nice feed by Chris Finn. This is the Cornell we know. At least it is a game again.

Fourth Quarter

14:59 – The announcer just talked about how he “met young kids” from all around the country. Uh, someone call the cops, please.

13:08 – Mitchell just made an incredibly acrobatic shot, while defended by three Duke players.

12:05 – Duke is doing a good job on Eric Pittard. He has four points, but Duke has done a good job of defending against Pittard’s dreaded spin move, patent pending.

11:21 – Duke scores, giving it a four-goal lead again.

11:13 – Brian Clayton comes right back and scores.

8:27 – I have to say, Duke’s uniforms are excellent. I have nothing pithy to say about them. This is certainly a first.

6:20 – Casey Lewis scores to cut the deficit to one. Loftus looks like his is really struggling right now. He has an ankle injury, and Cornell is taking advantage by shooting low a lot.

2:05 – Duke takes a timeout. No matter what happens, Cornell has shown a lot of heart in cutting the lead to one.

1:22 – The band is playing the “Hey Song” again. Maybe this is a strategy, to distract John Danowski and force him to dance instead of coach.

0:17 – The teams just traded possessions, but Cornell forced two failed clears, and in transition, Brian Clayton scored! Amazing play by Mitchell to forced the turnover.

0:03 Duke just got the face-off. Greer slipped around Danny Nathan and scored, giving Duke the lead again.

0:00 – Duke wins. What a game.

Postgame Thoughts

Wow, what a game. Cornell has won close games all season, but today was Duke’s day. Zack Greer made an amazing play to catch and shoot, and he should be give credit. But the Red deserve a lot of credit for coming back and tying the game up after being down 10-3. It has been a great season, and it has been great covering this team. Jeff Tambroni has done a great job of building this team full of quality individuals and lacrosse players. They really have made my job a lot easier. It is a tough way to go out, but these players deserve all the accolades that they have gotten. And Cornell fans should feel confident that they have Tambroni at the helm, because he will continue to put good, hard-working teams on the field who will fight for all the ground balls and play with a lot of heart. It has been a great ride, and I hope that all Red fans enjoyed the game today and the entire season.