After receiving a surprise send-off on Friday morning organized by Prof. Emeritus Ed Ostrander, featuring a performance by the Cornell Pep Band, the men’s lacrosse team travelled to Princeton, N.J. to go head-to-head against the Tigers.
Princeton (10-3, 6-0 Ivy League) jumped out with an early lead, which it maintained throughout the game, eventually beating the Red (9-3, 4-2), 14-9. With the win, the Tigers captured the Ivy League title outright and earned the honor of hosting the Ivy League tournament.
Senior attack Alex Capretta put Princeton on the board at just over three minutes into the game, netting an unassisted goal. Junior attack Forest Sonnenfeldt and freshman attack Mike MacDonald followed up just a few minutes later, giving the Tigers a three-goal lead over Cornell. With just three minutes remaining in the first quarter, senior midfielder Roy Lang scored for the Red. Seven seconds later, with an assist by sophomore midfielder Doug Tesoriero, freshman attack Matt Donovan netted his first of four goals for the night, bringing the Red within one point of the Tigers, 3-2.
Junior midfielder Jeff Froccaro lifted the Tigers to 4-2 at just six seconds into the second frame, but Donovan quickly responded a minute and a half later with an unassisted goal of his own. While the Red looked to be closing the gap, MacDonald, Capretta and Froccaro scored four more times for the home team, with Froccaro putting away two. Red sophomore attack Cody Bremner finished off the first half, bringing the score to 8-4, in favor of the Tigers. Bremner notched his fourth goal of the season with an assist by senior midfielder Mitch McMichael on a one-man opportunity, after Froccaro earned a 30-second penalty for pushing.
Heading into the second half, the Red needed to make up ground. Princeton sent another rocket home, as junior midfielder Tucker Shanely scored just under four minutes into the third. Capretta scored his third goal for the Tigers with eight and a quarter minutes remaining in the quarter, pushing the score to 10-4. Finally able to find a hole in the Tigers’ tight defense, junior attack Connor English sent one home with 5:10 left on the clock. Gaining back some lost momentum, Donovan scored twice more for the Red before time expired. Princeton also put away two more shots, as Capretta scored his fourth goal of the day and Sonnenfeldt his second. The Tigers closed headed into the final frame with a hefty 12-7 lead.
Once more, Capretta knew how to break through the Red’s defensive wall, scoring his last of five goals for the night. Sonnenfeldt finished off the Tigers’ scoring spree for the night, with a pass from sophomore midfielder Tom Schreiber with just 8:38 to go. Down 14-7, junior defender Jason Noble scored his first goal of the season at the 7:31 mark. Attempting to stage a comeback, English scored his second goal of the game, finalizing the score 14-9 in Princeton’s favor.
Donovan was the Red’s biggest scorer of the night, with his four-goal effort. At the face-off ‘x, ’ Tesoriero went 14-for-25, as he also claimed 11 ground balls. Princeton closely edged out Cornell in shots, 34-33. Sophomore Andrew West and junior A.J. Fiore split time in net, recording a combined six saves. The statistics were very close for the two teams, but the Tigers were always one step ahead. With the win, Princeton ended Cornell’s streak of nine consecutive seasons of having at least a share of the Ivy League title. Each program now has 26 titles apiece.