It’s been quite a year on the East Hill for Cornell athletics, but if you only attended the hockey games, you’ve missed a lot. With that said, I’d like to present the 1st Annual I Never Kid Awards which honor the sporting events and achievements that you may not be aware of.
Disclaimer: These awards were selected based only on the games I have personally attended and nominees were screened through a very strict process (read: whatever I was able to remember from the past nine months). If you feel there was some play or game that was left out, feel free to submit your nomination in the feedback section at the bottom of the online edition of this column.
Now let’s get to the awards…
Best Comeback that Nobody Saw — Women’s Basketball vs. Harvard: While most of you were watching the men’s hockey team lose to Colgate, the lady cagers were pulling off one of the most exciting comebacks I have witnessed here at Cornell. The Red played neck and neck with the two-time defending champs until the last few minutes, when the Crimson jumped out to an eight-point lead. Down by five with 10 seconds left, sophomore Sarah Brown banked a three-pointer off the glass and in, to cut the deficit to two. After the ensuing foul, Harvard missed both shots, giving senior Karen Force one last opportunity to tie the game
. Driving down the court, Force spotted an open lane, and drove to the basket for the lay-up. The ball went off the glass, and, with 0.9 seconds left on the clock, fell through to tie the game. Senior Lauren Kilduff’s free-throw shooting in overtime iced the victory for the Red, and the team ran onto the court in celebration. Unfortunately, the Sun sports photographer was next door at the hockey game, so we have no picture to show you today.
Best Near-Comeback Nobody Saw — Football vs. Colgate: The football team found itself down 24-7 at halftime on a cold, October afternoon, then the heavens opened up and unleashed a barrage of rain, driving away most of the Schoellkopf crowd. Those of us who remained witnessed a remarkable comeback against the national runner-up. Late in the third quarter, Colgate tried to convert on third down, but the ball got loose near the Cornell sideline.
Emerging from the pileup was cornerback Sean Nassoiy, who returned the fumble 38 yards for the score.
With the Red only down three, a victory was clearly in sight. The momentum had severely shifted over to Cornell, and a 24-yard field goal would tie the game in the fourth quarter with 6:32 left to play. The comeback ended there, as Colgate used all 6:32 to drive down the field and kick the game-winning field goal as time expired.
Busiest Spring Semester — Ian Pilarski, Men’s Soccer: Pilarski became the first ever Cornellian drafted by an MLS team when he was selected by the Chicago Fire in January’s draft. This semester, he has been juggling training for his team and finishing his courses here at Cornell. After training in Florida and Portugal with the Fire, Pilarski is on loan to the Rochester Rhinos of the A-League. For those of you who have trouble getting to your 10:10 class (including myself), imagine training with a professional sports team during your free time and having to commute two hours to get to class. Maybe you’ll be on time tomorrow.
Worst Weather — Tie, Women’s Lacrosse vs. Columbia and any evening soccer game: Rain and lightning do not make for a good lacrosse game. The flash storm Ithaca experienced last Sunday delayed the lacrosse team’s game against Columbia a good two hours, leaving this reporter stuck in the Schoellkopf press box re-reading the game program several dozen times. As for the evening soccer games, I only wish someone would donate money to build a press box at Berman Field so that my hands wouldn’t suffer from frostbite during each game. Kudos to the men’s and women’s soccer team for playing through the horrendous conditions that I merely had to sit through.
Best Crowd Atmosphere (Top Two) — 1. Men’s Basketball vs. Georgia Tech, 2. Men’s Basketball vs. Princeton: The Lynah Faithful were totally outclassed by the Red Zone during these two games. During the first half of the Tech game, the bleachers were literally shaking, at which point I thought they were going to collapse and we would all die. The Princeton game’s atmosphere was nearly as electrifying, as fans left Lynah and flocked to Newman Arena to watch the basketball team battle for control of first place in the league (some of you only came to the game to win the Land Rover, you know who you are).
Best Lesson Learned by a Member of the Lynah Faithful — Men’s Hockey vs. Harvard: If you taunt Noah Welch in the penalty box long enough, he will dump water from his water bottle onto your head, and then you will be yelled at by the Associate Athletic Director.
Thank You Award: Thanks to the graduating seniors, the sports editors, my beat partners, the coaches, players, and the readers for your help and support this year.
Archived article by Jonathan Auerbach