After what seemed a promising lead for Cornell during the first half, the Loyola men’s lacrosse team managed to tie up the game and take the opening round of the NCAA tournament into triple overtime before falling, 11-10, to the No. 7 Red.
Less than five minutes into the contest, Cornell got on the board against a team it hadn’t faced in anything but exhibition games, as sophomore midfielder Chris Langton scored on Loyola goalie Jake Hagelin. Cornell continued to be aggressive on offense, scoring another goal not too long after. After some time passed with neither team racking up any points, Loyola responded and tied the game at 2. However, the Red was not going to allow for the game to be that close for long, as the first quarter ended in Cornell’s favor, 4-2.
The second quarter continued in much the same fashion. Cornell opened up the second frame by winning the faceoff and upping its count to five goals past Hagelin before Langton scored again, this time helped by freshman attackman Ross Gillum with his second assist of the year. The Red managed two more goals –– the first assisted by sophomore attackman and reigning Ivy League Player of the Year Rob Pannell –– and the second scored by Pannell himself, before Loyola decided it needed to change things up.
Alex Peaty replaced Hagelin in goal, and the remaining time in the first half saw no more changes to the scoreboard.
The third quarter continued the trend of Cornell dominance, starting with freshman attackman Steve Mock securing a hat trick with his third goal of the game at 2:31 following the halftime period. However, from then on it was as if the Red wasn’t even on the field. The Greyhounds scored the next eight consecutive goals without interruption, and suddenly Cornell’s lead was cut down to just one, 9-8.
Finally, with a little over seven minutes to go, senior co-captain Ryan Hurley scored for the second time, assisted by Pannell, to bring a much-needed momentum swing for Cornell. Unfortunately for the home team, though, this was the last time it would score in regulation. The game was brought to 10-9, and then Loyola put Hagelin back in goal for the last 1:30. Then, with seven seconds remaining, the Red –– as has been its tendency –– allowed the visiting team to score the equalizer with time expiring.
However, unlike in the Ivy League Championship game against Princeton on Slope Day, the home game against Syracuse earlier this season, or the NCAA championship game against the Orange last year, this game did not end in disaster for Cornell. After going through two overtime periods and almost three minutes into a third –– the first triple overtime Loyola had ever participated in –– junior defenseman Max Feely scored his first career goal, allowing the No. 7 seed to move forward in the Tournament.
With the win, Cornell is next scheduled to play Army, a team that upset No. 2 Syracuse last Sunday in a similar double overtime victory. The two teams will face each other this Sunday at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, N.Y. Tickets are already sold out for what promises to be an interesting game taking place in the hometown of many Red players.