It was a precedent-setting outing for the Red in Foxboro, Mass., on Saturday. Unfortunately for the lacrosse team, it was Dartmouth that set the precedent, upsetting No. 6 Cornell, 8-6, behind a career-high, 23-save day for the Green’s goalie, Fergus Campbell. The loss snapped Cornell’s 12-game win streak, with Dartmouth becoming the first Ivy team not named Princeton or Brown to defeat the club since 2006.
“I give a lot of credit to Dartmouth,” said head coach Jeff Tambroni. “They played very hard, did a good job of mixing up their defenses and their goalie played extremely well. I think we settled down in the second half and did some good things, but it was too little, too late.”
Overall, the Red held the advantage in all three major offensive categories including shots (43-31), ground balls (27-25) and face-offs (11-of-18). Senior midfielder Austin Boykin won 9-of-14 attempts for the team. However, Dartmouth was 4-0 on man-up opportunities.
“We were getting shots, getting opportunities,” said sophomore attacker Rob Pannell. “At the same time there are always things we could do better. I think it was a matter of getting the right shot.”
Cornell (7-2, 2-1 Ivy) was led offensively by Pannell’s three goals, with senior attacker Ryan Hurley, senior attacker Chris Ritchie and junior midfielder David Lau each adding an additional one apiece. Sophomore midfielder Roy Lang earned two assists, and Boykin and sophomore attacker Scott Austin aided one each as well.
Starting in goal for the Red was freshman A.J. Fiore. Fiore finished the day with six saves and five goals allowed in 37.52 minutes of playing time. Junior Mat Martinez made four saves with three goals surrendered in just over 22 minutes of time between the pipes. The two teams traded spots in the third quarter, but Fiore returned to the field after Martinez was flagged for an illegal cross-check with 7:52 remaining in the match.
“I think our defense played unbelievable,” Pannell said. “You can’t take anything away from them. Both goalies played great. I really think that this game came down to the offense.”
Dartmouth was led by Ari Sussman on offense, who scored four times, followed by Josh Etzion, who scored twice.
The first quarter was an important one in terms of the Red’s overall game strategy, as the visiting squad tried to get on the board early and decisively. However, very strong goalkeeping from the start by Campbell prevented the offense from really starting much, saving six in the first quarter alone.
“We really wanted to get off to a quick start,” Pannell said. “[Campbell] made some key saves in the first quarter. It really prevented us from getting anything going.”
The Red scored its first goal — the first goal of the match, a 12-yard shot by Ritchie –– with 9:34 left in the second quarter. Cornell’s defense played admirably throughout the first and second quarters, but Campbell continued to play well, and the Green countered as the quarter came to a close, scoring three to lead 3-1 going into the half.
In the third quarter both teams came out strong at the opening whistle, combining for three goals in the first five minutes. Both teams traded goals throughout the quarter, with the Red tying the match at four apiece with 7:12 remaining before the Green took back the advantage with a trickling shot to end the third.
A second goal early in the final quarter increased the home team’s lead to 6-4. The Red offense attempted to turn up the heat in the fourth, but the offensive surge, while generating a lot of shots, was hurt somewhat by a lack of patience.
“We started to force it a little bit,” Pannell said. “That really hurt us. We were just trying to score, score.”
With 3:28 remaining, the Red trailed, 7-4. Dartmouth staved off Cornell’s attacks as the final minutes ticked down, but two goals in quick succession in the final 15 seconds accounted for the final score.
“Obviously, we are very disappointed in the loss,” Tambroni said. “But we will use that to motivate the team in practice this week.”