April 27, 2001

The Big Red's Best

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With my time on East Hill quickly coming to a close, I’d like to remind you of some (but by no means all) of the great athletic events to happen around here in the past four years. Again, there is no rhyme or reason to this list besides it consisting of events that stick out in my mind.

11. Men’s lacrosse victory over Hobart 2001 — Seem out of place? Maybe, but my Dad went to Hobart, and this was the first time the teams played in Schoellkopf and he was not there to see it. Oddly enough, it was also the first time Cornell won in my time here. I watched the second half of the clinic put on that day from the very top of Schoellkopf, remembering four years of my life and taking in the beautiful surroundings. It is where I started to think about this list, and a whole bunch of stuff that have nothing to do with sports. If you’re a senior, I’m sure you understand. If not, you will in time.

10. Men’s hockey’s playoff series victory over Harvard in 2000 — There is not much else to say.

9. Graham Morin’s death — considering all the success the wrestling squad has had in the past four years, it is almost unfair that this is what sticks out in my mind about the team. However, the death of Morin should serve as a reminder to all of us of the important things in life, and the way the team overcame this tragedy to take a share of the Ivy title this year was nothing short of impressive.

8. Women’s cross country qualifying for NCAAs in 1998 — Competing against the best in the land and proving it belonged (even without scholarships) always impressed me.

7. Women’s polo national title in 2000 — I remember the squad losing in the title game in 1999 and feeling (along with much of the Sports section) that Cornell was cursed. After the squad’s victory last year I was just happy that a team which had dominated year in and year out was finally able to wrap up what was rightfully its title. And a repeat in 2001 shouldn’t be forgotten.

6. Men’s hockey’s loss to SLU at Lake Placid in 2000 — Not to dwell on the negative, but this was an amazing game. Overtime, Ian Burt standing on his head to make saves, and the line of Dan Svoboda, Andrew McNiven and Frank Kovac ’00 generating scoring chances like none other. Unfortunately, it was just not meant to be.

5. Football’s loss at Dartmouth 1999/ against Penn 2000 — I’ve seen too many contests for them all to come out with Cornell on top. But these two really hurt, a loss to an inferior Dartmouth team in a mud bowl eventually costing the team a share of the Ivy title. And the agony of watching this year’s squad struggle against the Quakers in the title game.

4. Football’s victory at Brown in 1999/ at Harvard 2000 — In both games Cornell looked like it couldn’t run, block or catch in the first half, and then became world beaters in the final two quarters. It was surreal to watch the Red tide roll over the opponents in the second half, and come back from 20+ deficits to claim victories.

3. Men’s hockey’s victories over Harvard and Brown in Lynah freshman year — This is when I truly realized the glory of everyone’s favorite barn and Cornell sports in general. On Friday night, the Red snatches victory from the jaws of defeat by scoring two goals in the final 1:30 or so to beat Brown 4-3. The next night, the evil Harvard comes to town and I see fish and a 5-2 ass whooping of the losers from greater Boston.

2. Softball’s Ivy title in 1999 — okay, sure, I’m a little biased. I’ve served as one of Kelli Larsen’s editors ever since she came to The Sun. But I didn’t know her when she made good on Coach Dick Blood’s decision to pinch hit and knocked in the two runs which gave the team the outright title. I remember just being happy this young team could achieve such amazing things (and then do it again two years later).

1. Men’s lacrosse victory over Syracuse last year — almost certainly anyone who was at Schoellkopf for that game will remember it for a long time. Ignoring the fact that it signaled the return of the Red to the national scene and the confidence it seemed to help spread through the athletic department, it was just an amazing game. It was close, there were lead changes late in the game, and Cornell fans rushed Schoellkopf Field even though it wasn’t freshmen or seniors on the field day. As an athletic competition, it doesn’t get much better than that.

Archived article by J.V. Anderton