March 31, 2008

Cohesive Play Seals Red Win

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It’s fun to be on top. Following up on a dominating win against Binghamton last weekend, Cornell defeated Penn in style Saturday, 13-5, blanking the Quakers for the first 40 minutes of the game while at the same time scoring eight unanswered goals.
The Red (7-1, 2-0 Ivy) extended its own winning streak to six games with the win, while the Quakers fell to 4-3, 2-1 in conference play. Although it was the first victory since 2002 for Cornell at Penn’s Franklin Field, Red holds a decided lead in the series, 59-22-3, which has pitted the two Ivy rivals against each other for over one hundred years.
“Penn is obviously a very talented team,” said junior defender Matt Moyer. “Every time it’s always a good match. We just played really well [Saturday]. We worked hard for the entire game. We were definitely happy [about the effort].”
Both the offense and the defense played well in the contest, however what is perhaps more important is how well they played together as a cohesive unit.
“Overall our team really meshed in all phases,” Moyer said. I thought that our defense played pretty well. That obviously helped spark transitions. And then you got success at our face-offs with [senior middle John] Glynn. In terms of dissecting the game, instead of an individual effort, it was a lot of consistent play throughout the entire field.”[img_assist|nid=29294|title=One foot at a time|desc=Ryan Hurley’s (26) seven points led Cornell in Saturday’s match against Penn. He scored­­­­ five­­ goals and two assists.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Sophomore attacker Ryan Hurley finished the game with five goals and two assists, to lead the team with seven points. Cornell benefited from several multi-point performances, however, besides Hurley’s outstanding effort. Chris Finn scored two goal of his own, to go along with two assists, and junior middle Max Seibald recorded another two goals along with one assists. Senior attacker John Espey, junior middle Rocco Romero, Glynn and sophomore attacker Christopher Ritchie were also multi-point scorers for the Red, each contributing one goal and one assist apiece.
On the defensive end, sophomore goalie Jake Myers was definitely the unit’s MVP, with 12 saves, a career high, while allowing only two goals in 53:20 minutes of play. His replacement was freshman Mat Martinez, who let in three goals.
“Jake had a great game,” Moyer said. “He made some very timely saves for us. That was a huge contributor. As a defense, we were able to play with a lot of confidence knowing that Jake was back there playing like he was.”
Cornell scored within the first ten seconds of the match, setting the tone for the rest of the game. Glynn won the opening face-off and passed the ball up to Hurley who found the net for the first score of the game. Another face-off win by Glynn, and the ensuing offensive push put the Red up 3-0 halfway through the first period.
Cornell out hustled Penn on both sides of the field, and some clutch saves from Martinez kept Penn off the scoreboard into halftime, with the score a lopsided 7-0 following a Glynn score, assisted by Seibald.
The Quakers did not get on the board until a defensive mix-up with 4:20 left in the third left a Penn man unguarded, who was able to capitalize and put his team on the board for the first time, 8-1.
Penn ended the quarter with a slight surge, scoring a second goal nine second after its first. But Cornell shutdown the fledgling comeback with its own offensive push, and the two teams went into the final period with the score 11-2.
Cornell’s lead reached double digits early in the fourth quarter after Seibald scored off of a Ritchie pass, making the tally 12-2. Hurley scored on Seibald’s heels from a Finn pass.
The Quakers scored the last three goals of the contest after the Red’s goalie change, but at the final buzzer it was obvious which was the better team.
Although this marks the extension of Cornell’s win streak to six, Moyer took pains to distance the team from any thoughts of records or streaks at the moment.
“It’s still a long way to go,” he said. “It’s a long season. We always take it just one game at a time. We just need to be ready to work hard. It’s always a work in progress.”