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You can go big or go home. The men’s basketball team has the opportunity to do both, as the last weekend of the Red’s regular season will be at Newman Arena — against perennial contender Penn tonight, followed by a Princeton team that has returned from obscurity to hold the No. 2 record in the Ancient Eight.
This might be the week that the baseball team’s new head coach, Bill Walkenbach ’98, experiences not one, but two significant life events. With his wife due to give birth last Friday, Walkenbach’s squad managed to sweep a doubleheader, 7-0 and 5-4, against the U.S. Naval Academy on Saturday for the Red’s first outing of 2009. The Red (1-0) made the trip to Annapolis, Md., to face an Ivy League caliber foe in the Midshipmen (1-2-1).
“We came out and played some of the best games we could,” said sophomore right fielder Mickey Brodsky. “We really stopped [Navy’s] offensive production the whole weekend.”
[img_assist|nid=35152|title=Head down|desc=The men’s basketball team won a thriller in Hanover, N.H., against Dartmouth, 79-76. The game was the Red’s first double overtime since Feb 2006.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“I’ve been in the league 19 years,” said head coach Steve Donahue. “I don’t take any win lightly, and that was a huge win for our program.”
Cornell built up a 19-point lead, 48-29, only to see the Green whittle it away with a 15-0 run over 5:13 in the second half. With the game tied, 61-61, junior point guard Louis Dale popped it out to junior Ryan Wittman, who had an open look from the 3-point line as time expired in regulation, but the shot didn’t fall.
When Evan Barlow scored with 2:08 remaining in overtime Friday night to lead the men’s hockey team past Quinnipiac, 2-1, it was just the latest in a string of heroics from the senior forward — who leads the Cornell in game-winners this season and held the team assists title until recently.
In addition to cheers, however, the Strathmore, Alb., native has had cause for frustration over the course of his career — the talent has always been there, but not always the discipline. This paradox was evident from the very beginning.
In the Red’s first regular season game during the 2005-06 season, against Michigan State, the freshman Barlow got his first Cornell point from an assist on goal by line-mate Cam Abbot ‘06. The Red won, 4-2.
With a pair of top ECAC Hockey foes coming to Ithaca this weekend, Lynah Rink will host either a dramatic turnaround for the home team, or another troubling episode in a once-spotless season. The men’s hockey team has to overcome a string of bad fortune against Quinnipiac, which played Cornell to a tie back in November, when it takes the ice at Lynah tonight — with nationally-ranked defending ECAC champion Princeton coming tomorrow night.
At one point in the movie The Replacements, quarterback Shane Falco tries to explain why his team crumbled in a disastrous 1996 Sugar Bowl game, taking Falco’s fictional football career down with it: “You’re playing and you think everything is going fine, but then one thing goes wrong and another and another, and you try to fight back, but the harder you fight, the deeper you sink. ’Til you can’t move, can’t breathe, cause you’re in over your head. Like quicksand.”
Though a regular season matchup with North Country rival St. Lawrence isn’t quite up to the pressure level of the Sugar Bowl, the men’s hockey team found itself in a similar predicament Friday night in Canton, N.Y. — ultimately falling to the Saints, 8-1.
Super Bowl Sunday has arrived, and while I love watching this greatest of American traditions and am so excited about this year’s matchup, something else has been on my mind this week …
Youth league basketball.
I know it’s random. But no, I’m not kidding.
Last week, I got an invitation from my Ithaca-dwelling uncle to come to my 11-year-old cousin’s sixth grade basketball game.
And so, bright and early (at least for me) on Saturday, my uncle picked me up around noon and we went to the local elementary school where the game would be held. The games were running a little late, so we settled in and watched some of the fourth grade game too.