Follow the men’s lacrosse team’s game against Canisius today live at http://twitter.com/DailySunSports
Cornell gave top-ranked Virginia something to worry about, taking a 7-6 lead into the locker rooms on Sunday afternoon and allowing even the most pessimistic fans to hope. The good fortune did not last, however, and the Cavaliers surged back over the next two periods to hand the No. 4 Red its first loss of the season, 14-10.
With the loss, Cornell slips to 2-1 on the season. Virginia remains perfect, with a 7-0 record overall.
The Red was outscored, 8-3, in the second half, but overall the two teams were close in shots taken (41-39) and groundballs (39-35), with Virginia holding a slight edge in both categories. It was in face offs, however, that the disparity was a little more apparent, with Virginia carrying 17-of-28 face-offs, including a telling 11-of-13 in the key second half.
Junior attacker Chris Ritchie said that the Red “had a clearing the ball, and a little problem with face-offs in the second half. We just didn’t exeucte in the second half like we did in the first half.”
Offensively, freshman attacker Rob Pannell had a good game for the Red, matching the school’s freshman assist record with four, and adding two goals as well to lead the team with six points. Junior attacker Ryan Hurley led the team in scores, with four, while senior middle Rocco Romero added a goal and an assist, and junior defensive middle Austin Boykin earned the first points of his career with two assists.
On the defensive end, senior Matt Moyer did a good job of controlling the Cavalier’s first-team All-American attacker Danny Glading, who finished the game with only one assist and two turnovers. In goal, junior netminder Kyle Harer picked up his first loss of the season with four saves. [img_assist|nid=35963|title=On the hunt|desc=Freshman attacker Rob Pannell (3) matched the freshman record for asissts this weekend against Virginia.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
In the first quarter, Virginia drew first blood, moving out to a 2-0 lead early, including its first goal, which was scored off of the opening face off just 15 seconds into the game. Virginia’s Steve Giannone made the score, the first of his three goals of the match, tying him for most on the team.
Cornell finally answered back 8:21 in, with a shot to the near post from Hurley, assisted by Pannell. Hurley scored the next goal as well, making the score 3-2 Virginia.
The scoring went back and forth throughout the rest of the opening quarter and into the second, with neither team being able to explode on any offensive runs. The Red took its first lead of the game with just over a minute left to play in the second quarter. Moyer picked off a Virginia pass and sprinted downfield, clearing the ball that Pannell was able to send to a waiting Chris Finn. Finn beat the Cavaliers goalie up high for, making the score 7-6.
Virginia came out of the break fired up, wasting no time with a 3-0 scoring run to start off the third quarter.
“It seemed like we were two different teams in the frist and secodn halves,” Ritchie said. “In the scocnd half, we just didn’t carry over the momentum. Virginia took advanatge, they’re a really good team.”
Although both teams seemed to struggle with turnovers — Cornell ended with 19 total, Virginia with 20 — but Cornell seemed unable to gain any real traction.
Nevertheless, the Cavaliers never let up, and a late goal at the end of the third quarter followed by two quick scores to start the fourth tipped the scales in favor of the home team.
With the score pushed to 14-8, it seemed the Red were on the ropes. A score from Kyle Doctor with less than five minutes left to play ended the 5-0 Virginia scoring run, but it was too late. Senior Max Seibald’s left-handed score with just over two minutes left sparked a flurry of offensive activity from the Red, but nothing else materialized as the Cavaliers held on for the victory.
Today, the Red looks for its first home win against Canisius at 4 p.m.
“They’re a good team, a hungry team,” Ritchie said. “We’ll have to have to come out and really play our best in order to win.”