To say that the season has been a struggle so far for both teams playing at Schoellkopf on Saturday would be an understatement. Both Cornell and Dartmouth men’s lacrosse teams came into the match with 1-6 overall records and a combined 0-3 record in the Ivy League. Both teams were aiming to avoid being left alone at the bottom of the pack without an Ivy win.
Cornell (2-6, 1-2 Ivy) has a strong record against Dartmouth, both historically and recently. Coming into the weekend, the Red held a 51-15-3 all time record over the Green (1-7, 0-2 Ivy), and the last time Cornell lost to Dartmouth was in 2010. Cornell has also defeated Dartmouth 10 straight times at Schoellkopf.
For the second straight game, Cornell got on the board first. Sophomore attacker Colton Rupp passed the ball back to junior midfielder Jordan Dowiak, who took a one-step rip from ten yards out to get the ball into the net. It opened up what would turn out to be a Red onslaught.
Cornell began the game with seven straight goals from six different players. The Red defense was also strong, as Dartmouth would not get on the board until the 1:46 mark of the second quarter, making it a 28:14 drought without a Dartmouth goal.
Rupp would close the half scoring just under 30 seconds after the Dartmouth goal to restore the seven-goal Red lead, as Cornell went into the locker room with a 8-1 lead.
The scoring slowed down for both teams just after of halftime, as Dartmouth scored twice and Cornell once to cut the lead to six. But the Red picked it up again in the final quarter of play and opened the quarter with three straight, including two from Rupp to push the lead 12-3. Each team would add two more goals in the period, and Cornell would come away with the 14-5 victory.
“Our riding game set the tone early,” head coach Matt Kerwick said to Cornell Big Red. “I thought we put a whole effort in today, which is something we’ve been working towards, and it was nice to see it pay off.”
The win continued the undefeated streak for Kerwick against Dartmouth, making it a 4-0 record. Cornell came away from the three game homestand with a 2-1 record after opening the season with five straight losses. During the stretch, Cornell has given up only 10 or fewer goals, and gave up single-digit goals in both of its wins.
Twelve different players recorded points for the Red, and 12 of the 14 goals were assisted. The five goals from Dartmouth, which averaging just under seven goals makes it the lowest scoring team in the league, makes it a season-low given up by the Red.
Rupp alone matched Dartmouth’s scoring with five goals and tacked on one assist, making it a career high in goals and points. Freshman Jeff Teat mirrored Rupp’s point total, with five assists and one goal. In addition, junior midfielder Walt Gahagan added a career-high six caused turnovers, and senior goalie Christian Knight earned eight saves and only allowed four goals.
The Red dominated statistically, holding an edge in shots (52-30), shots on goal (30-14), ground balls (48-35) and face-offs won (15-8). Dartmouth had 27 turnovers, 12 of which came in the first quarter alone, compared to Cornell’s 21.
Next, Cornell will hit the road and take on Harvard in Cambridge this coming weekend. While Harvard sits in third place in the league and Cornell is tied for fifth, both teams only have one league win, with Harvard’s only win also coming against Dartmouth in a 14-7 decision one week ago.
Harvard opened the season hot with four-straight victories, but is 1-4 in the last of its five games.
Harvard also has the second-highest scorer in the league in junior attacker Morgan Cheek, who averages 3.22 goals a game. He will take on the goalie with the second-highest save average in the league in Knight, who averages 12.43 per game.
Action will be underway 1 p.m. next Saturday at Cambridge.