It was the kind of game that just makes everyone happy.
For the seniors, it was a grand finish to an illustrious time in Ithaca. For the underclassmen, it was a shoot out to the rest of the league, warning them of a powerful team in the making. For the coaches, it was a game to smile back on — and to thank Princeton just for being there.
For the third time in four meetings, Cornell upended the Tigers in an all–around dominating game, winning 14-3. Numerous seniors played their hearts out, wowing the crowd with magnificent play after magnificent play.
The first quarter saw the Cornell defense come out uncharacteristically flat as Princeton used its first series to drive to the goalline. The men in Red quickly tightened up the holes however, and forced a field goal. The Tigers then forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, but the defense would not let them go anywhere.
The Red offense finally got on the field and put together an impressive 70–yard drive finishing with a touchdown pass from senior Andrew Goodman. Freshman tight end Michael Ormsby caught his third touchdown of the season.
Goodman played especially well as he led a 50–yard drive to begin the second half. Not wasting any time, Goodman took the ball in from two yards out, giving the Red an insurmountable 14–3 lead.
The defense then completely shut down the Princeton offense. Senior Bo Sangosanya went out with a bang, blocking a punt and recording his third interception of the season. Throughout his four years as starter for Cornell, he has certainly compiled a plethora of memories.
“The fondest memories that I have had involve the amazing times that I have had with my fellow teammates that have come and gone throughout my four–year career,” Sangosanya recalled. “I would have to include the tiresome yet fun times spent on the practice field prepping for games, this past victory against the Princeton Tigers because it marked a bittersweet ending to my playing career, and our 6–0 victory over the Tigers last year, which was a remarkably played defensive game on our parts.”
Senior tri–captain Jon Krautmann also played a solid final game at middle–linebacker.
“It wasn’t until a couple of hours after the Princeton game had ended that I realized that my senior teammates and I had played in our last football game,” Krautmann reminisced. “As I look back I feel fortunate to have been blessed with the opportunity to continue my football career after high school. In that sense, all of us were really lucky.
“After high school ended Cornell gave us the chance to keep playing a kid’s game. There is something about this game that helps keep that ‘recess–kid’ inside of you alive. I’ve had some rough days at school here in the fall, burdened by tough classes and viscous tests. But I knew that no matter how tough a day, at the end of it I would always have the chance to strap on my helmet and run around on the grass with my buddies chasing after a football.
“A year from now I think that wherever we are we will look back and smile when we think about all of the memories we shared here at Cornell playing the game we loved.”
Largely considered one of the best defenses ever seen in Ithaca, Cornell will truly miss the contributions made by Sangosanya, Krautmann, tri–captain Imad Baggar, Alex Chen, Jeremy Kipling, and Lee Rudofsky.
“It means the utmost to be part of one of the best defenses ever coached by [head coach Terry] Cullen, but I would have to attribute it to an overall team desire and effort by the 11 individuals on defense, who have pretty much being through it all together,” commented Sangosanya. “But most of all, such an accomplishment couldn’t have been obtained without the tutelage of the coaching staff, which includes coach [Paul] Lang, coach [Terry] Daugherty, and coach Morris.”
The offense has had a lion’s share of contribution of seniors as well. Goodman, tight end Sam Walcott, wideout David Minami and linemen Ryan Akin, Zachary Iscol, and Aaron Sweeney gave it their all, every Friday night.
“I have a lot of great memories since freshman year,” Iscol said. “My fondest is probably the first day I met coach Cullen. When I showed up in his office for the first time I was a 145 lb. freshman with long curly hair, he told me I could play, but I was small, would probably get the crap kicked out of me, and had to get a haircut. He’s been like a father ever since.”
“I really enjoyed playing on the kickoff return team,” Akin said. “Nothing beats blindsiding some poor Princeton or Penn guy and laying him out.”
Sophomore Charlie Tam has had the pleasure of playing with many of the seniors.
“It was good to see a change on the sidelines,” he noted. “Everybody was really happy, and they all contributed. Goodman was really emotional, and Bo and Krautmann had great games. It has been a great season and it has been a lot of fun of the seniors.”
For the fans, it has a been a pleasure to watch them play.
Senior Aaron Sweeney has been an anchor for the offensive line at right guard, earning all-league honors. His services will truly be missed.
“It was great to go out a winner,” Sweeney said after the game. “Despite suffering losing seasons every year I played for Cornell, I have fond memories of the program. It did not matter whether we won or lost, I always came away feeling like I accomplished something.”
Archived article by Sumeet Sarin