April 23, 2007

Michael Mix's Blog for the 10-6 Men's Lacrosse Victory over Princeton

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Pregame Thoughts:
Here we go, biggest game of the season. Great weather, great crowd, it does not get better than this. Princeton has a great defense, so my key player of the game for Cornell is junior John Glynn. Glynn seems to thrive when the defense focuses on David Mitchell and Eric Pittard, so I look for him to have a big game today.

First Quarter:

14:17 – Glynn streaks and Pittard finds him down the middle for the first score of the game. Hmm, did someone just predict that?

13:48 – Princeton goalie Alex Hewit just saved a Brian Clayton shot, then almost let it in. The refs looked confused there. I used to umpire Little League Baseball, and that is what I like to call an “I don’t know what just happened” call

10:51 – Princeton senior Scott Sowanick just took a pass from senior Peter Trombino and put it past McMonagle. This is going to be a close game.

8:03 – Max “Superman” Seibald just rocketed a shot for a goal off of some nice passing by Cornell. I think that if Seibald ever shot at me, I would wet me pants in about .005 seconds. Also, I just made up a nickname for him.

4:41 – Glynn scores again. Was I right, or was I right? The fact that Princeton is letting Glynn get good looks is a more misguided decision than casting Powers Boothe as the evil Vice President in 24.

4:41 – O.K. Princeton’s uniforms are just awful. They are a cross between the Miami Hurricanes’ unis and puke after you eat carrots. Honestly, their hockey uniforms are awful too. Isn’t there anyone on the Princeton campus that can design a uniform? Can’t we lend them some textile and apparel management majors? I think this is a service from which the entire Ivy League can benefit.

0:29 – There was just a barrage of shots at McMonagle, including one that hit the post, the goalie’s best friend. Cornell’s defense is doing a really good job, though, of limiting Princeton’s good looks.

Second Quarter

14:02 – John Glynn just scored again. Seriously, Cornell is so deep; it could score all day without its big guns getting on the board

8:34 – Princeton just isn’t getting off good looks right now. Credit Cornell’s defense. I haven’t seen such teamwork since Lord Zed and Rita Repulsa opposed Ivan Ooze in the Power Rangers Movie

7:14 – McMonagle is making a lot of nice saves. He probably has been better than Hewit to this point. With all the hype on Hewit, one would think that this is more unlikely than Ari helping Lloyd from that sleezy writer on Entourage. However, after watching McMonagle this year, and especially last week against Dartmouth, one should know how good he really is.

6:28 – There hasn’t been a goal in a while. The crowd is getting restless. It is always a strange crowd at a lacrosse game. It seems as if the crowd doesn’t know whether it should stay reserved or go into full “crazy hockey mode.”

4:34 – I think that it is time to talk about my “Schoellkopf Crowd Theory.” If you ever watch a lacrosse game from the press box (not that you ever would), you will see that the crowd is not dispersed evenly over the stands. Most of the crowd is on the Lynah side of Schoellkopf. For example, there are more people sitting at the 10-yard line of the Lynah side than there are sitting at the 40-yard line of the other side. Now, would you rather sit at the 40-yard line or the 10-yard line? I don’t understand why people would rather sit farther away from the middle, just because it is closer to the entrance. This really bothers me. So next time you go to a lacrosse game and you find yourself sitting on the 10 or 20-yard line, please move to the other side of the 50. You will make me happy. Thank you.

2:51 – I think that the right word to describe Princeton’s defense right now is “swarming.”

0:52 – There has to be more snow on the sides of Schoellkopf than in the rest of Ithaca combined. We need to get that heat machine thing from Die Another Day (for your information, I do not endorse Die Another Day in any way, shape, or form).

Halftime Thoughts

Princeton is doing a great job of limiting Cornell’s cutters. Mitchell and Seibald have both not really gotten off many shots. The Red has been taking advantage of some unsettled situations though. It needs to improve its half-field offense in the second half. On defense, Cornell is playing very well. It shut out Princeton this quarter, and Mitch Belisle is really doing a good job on Trombino, who has barely done anything.

McMonagle has been stellar this half, the second straight game in which he has played very well. He made six saves and didn’t give up any tallies.

I thought that they should have made a bigger deal out of honoring the 1977 team. It is too bad that the crowd gave the 1977 team somewhat of a lukewarm response. There should have been more excitement generated earlier about this, and more press. I met some of those guys earlier today, and they are all incredibly nice and dedicated to Cornell lacrosse. Winning 42 straight games is an incredible feat, and they should get the response they deserve.

Third Quarter

13:59 – Brian Clayton breaks the game’s scoreless draught and notches a goal. Clayton has been playing really well today. It looks like he is fully recovered from his injury.

12:48 – Cornell comes right back in transition, then Pittard scores a goal from Vedder. The Red’s transition is going to be very important from here on out in scoring goals.

12:38 – Cornell scores again. This time it is Henry Bartlett from George Calvert. What happened to this vaunted Princeton defense? It has disappeared faster than Hillary Swank’s career will after appearing in The Reckoning.

8:35 – The crowd starts a “Princeton’s in New Jersey” chant, although it isn’t that loud. Can they please just start a “sieve” chant for Hewit? Please?

6:33 – Superman Seibald just found Bartlett right in front of the net to put Cornell back up by five.

3:37 – I think it is time to talk about the Thundersticks in the crowd. Why in the world would Cornell athletics hand out Thundersticks? I am sorry, but this is not the 2002 Anaheim Angels. Obviously, the sports department does not trust the Cornell crowd to make noise on its own, so instead it gives them these artificial noisemakers that drive everyone crazy. I swear, if the crowd starts doing a wave, I might just go home.

1:37 – Mitch Belisle is just shutting down Trombino, who has been about as effective this game as the “Puddies” from Power Rangers. And yes, I just made a second Power Rangers reference in this blog.

Fourth Quarter

13:39 – O.K., a lot of people are leaving this game from the crowd. Are you kidding me? It’s not like you have to beat the traffic or anything. This is the biggest game of the season. Just stay until the end. We are not the Los Angeles Dodgers.

11:43 – Clayton scores again in transition off of a Glynn pass. The two of them are really flying under Princeton’s radar today.

11:06 – After the Syracuse game a week and a half ago, the Syracuse players kept referring to Mitchell, Pittard and Seibald by name, but kept referring to Glynn as “No. 20.” It just goes to show that teams need to prepare for Glynn, or else they will make him pay.

8:18 – In a battle of Cornell’s No. 1 offense vs. Princeton’s No. 1 defense, I would give the advantage to the Red. By the way, for my preview article on Friday, I completely stole that stat from Princeton’s website.

2:23 – Princeton has not had an offensive possession in a long time. Cornell is doing a good job of taking long possessions and not letting the Tigers get the ball. In the time in between now and the last Princeton show, there have been seven Cincinnati Bengals arrested and 50 “Alexander and Catalano” commercials on TV. Just randomly, do Alexander and Catalano ever work? There must be about 300 different commercials featuring them. And who was that singing group that sings the theme song at the end? You know your singing career is over when you are in a studio singing “The heavy hitters are all you need, call 1-800-LAW-1333.” And yes, the commercial is so effective that I didn’t even have to look that up.

2:16 – There are over 10,700 people here. That is more people than go to most Tampa Bay Devil Rays games.


I just want to point out that while I was waiting for the press conference, the team listened to “Magic Dance” by David Bowie. I like any team that propagates the use of any song from Labyrinth.

My three stars of the game:
1) John Glynn – Glynn scored early and often, and really did a good job of finding good looks and putting it past Hewit
2) Matt McMonagle – he outplayled Hewit and matched his career high for saves. There were several times where I visibly said “wow” after one of McMonagle’s saves.
3) Mitch Belisle – in the press conference, someone mentioned that he doesn’t get enough credit, and I agree. Once again, Belisle shut down the opposing team’s best attackman. Trombino only got one assist.

Final Thoughts: Cornell played very well today, despite the fact that Princeton had more shots and ground balls. The Tigers are a very good team, and this is a huge win, especially at home with such a big crowd. Now there are two more games before the end of the regular season, and hopefully the momentum will carry over to next week on the road against a tough Brown team.