After a four game span in which the Cornell men’s lacrosse team averaged 15.5 goals per contest, tight defense and timely scoring was at a premium in the squad’s encounter against No. 11 Dartmouth on Saturday, as the No. 8 Red earned an 8-7 win over the Green in Hanover, N.H.
While the Red never relinquished the lead throughout the entire game, the Green forced Cornell to make big plays on both ends on the field, with senior attackman Kevin Nee pacing the Red attack with three goals.
“Dartmouth did a pretty good job of controlling the ball,” said Cornell head coach Jeff Tambroni. “I don’t think we necessarily played well, [but] our coaching staff and our players were pleased that we won the game … Dartmouth is as good as it gets in the Ivy League.”
In the first quarter, Cornell came out strong. While Nee was denied from close range early in the game by Dartmouth goaltender Andrew Goldstein, Cornell midfielder Casey Lewis found space in the middle of the field and found the back of the cage from 15 yards to give the sophomore his first career goal.
The Red doubled its lead four minutes later when junior Joe Boulukos dodged past his defender before beating Goldstein for his 22nd tally of the season. With less than three minutes left in the quarter, junior Derek Haswell found Nee, whose shot zipped past Goldstein to give the Red a 3-0 advantage.
The visitors again opened the scoring in the second period, when junior Dave Bush rushed by a pair of defenders before finding senior Sean Greenhalgh, who finished off the fast break to give the Red a 4-0 cushion.
However, the Green started to claw back, as junior Ryan Danehy found the back of the cage with 4:10 left in the period before classmate Jamie Coffin brought Dartmouth within two less than a minute later with a goal of his own. And while Nee scored his second with 2:19 left in the period, the Green responded with a goal just three seconds before intermission, as senior Ben Grinnell hit the back of the cage from outside the crease.
“After [we went up 4-0], you could tell there was a big drop of emotion [from our side],” Tambroni said.
After halftime, both teams were unable to score until Dartmouth brought the Red’s lead down to one when Coffin scored his second goal of the game off a pass from Danehy. The Green subsequently tied the game off the opening faceoff in the fourth, when Brad Heritage made his way through the Cornell defense and beat Red sophomore goaltender Matt McMonagle from five yards out.
But the Red soon regained the lead and its intensity according to Tambroni, less than three minutes later, when Haswell picked up a loose ball and shot past Goldstein. Cornell took advantage of a Dartmouth turnover three minutes later, as senior Justin Redd connected with Nee, who completed his hat trick, before Redd found Greenhalgh on the team’s next possession, who gave the Red a three goal lead. Tambroni cited Redd for his key role in Saturday’s win.
“Justin Redd has done a great job this year,” Tambroni said. “I think he’s having a decent season statistically, but I think he’s having a better year on the field for us … I think our guys have been really pleased with how he has lead the team. He might not necessarily be the guy getting the goals, but he’s certainly our setup guy in getting to ball to our [other attackers].”
However, the Green would stage a late comeback as Danehy and Coffin again added their names to the score sheet with less than two minutes to play. While Dartmouth won 10 of the game’s 19 faceoffs, the Red gathered a crucial one after Coffin’s goal before the Green regained possession after a save by Goldstein. But Dartmouth was unable to get another shot on goal, giving the visitors the win. Goldstein finished with 11 saves while McMonagle recorded 10.
Archived article by Brian Tsao
Sun Assistant Sports Editor