April 14, 2010

Lightning Strikes Again in Same Fashion

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The men’s lacrosse team lost to Syracuse for the second straight meeting by allowing a goal with one second remaining in regulation.

The men’s lacrosse team took the field determined to avenge last year’s national championship game; yet, history repeated itself.

Cornell put up a tough fight, but was unable to prevail over the strong contender that it found in the No. 2 Syracuse squad last night at Schoellkopf Field. The Red (8-3) lost 8-7 in the last second of regulation to the Orange, who enhanced its record to (9-1) on the season.

“I thought we played hard nose, blue collar lacrosse for 60 minutes. We entered the game confident that we were going to have to make big plays throughout the entirety of the matchup and I thought a lot of players stepped up big for us,” said junior Jack Dudley. “I couldn’t be more proud of the effort and emotion that we poured onto the field tonight.”

Once again, freshman goalie A.J. Fiore brought the heat, registering 20 saves, including some tough ones during the second and third periods, which were able to keep the Red in the game. Sophomore Roy Lang and junior David Lau were also huge factors on both ends of the field, tallying two goals each, while senior Ryan Hurley scored Cornell’s first goal of the game and extended his point streak to 43 games.

After Syracuse jumped to an early 1-0 lead, the Red was able to maintain its composure and stage a comeback. Following the goal, Cornell maintained its offensive presence, and just five minutes later, Hurley was able to find the back of the net. The Orange went back on the lead, after a shot was sent wide of Fiore. Picking up the loose ball, Syracuse was able to capture a great play, and make the score 2-1.

Keeping its cool and fighting back, Cornell sophomore Rob Pannell, who registered three assists, was stationed behind the Syracuse net, where he made a nice pass to Lang, and with 9:52 remaining in the second period, Lang was able to net the ball in the goal, to tie the game at two. Less than a minute later, the Red took its first lead of the night, after Lau scored in an unassisted effort.

“Our biggest strength was the emotional investment that all 43 players poured onto the field. We played as a team that cared about the details through and through and that translated to success on the field for us. We were relentless on ground balls, played great team defense, and created a ton of great looks in the offensive end,” said Dudley. “You definitely have to give credit to A.J. Fiore and our defense for playing one heck of a game. Overall, the fact that all 43 guys–from the starters all the way down to the bench–were invested in each other’s success was what brought us success for our team.”

Demonstrating its offensive power, the Red continued to maintain its lead during the first few minutes of the third period, when senior Chris Ritchie gave the Red a two-point lead. The two teams continued to battle back and forth, before Syracuse made it a one-goal game before tying it back up, after scoring on an extra man advantage.

In the fourth quarter both teams came out strong at the opening whistle, combining for six goals. The sides traded goals throughout the quarter, with the Orange tying the match at seven apiece with 4:59 remaining.

Then, with 2:50 remaining in the last quarter, the Red attempted to run the clock down, but Syracuse’s attackers had other plans in mind. As the final minute ticked down, the Orange caused a turnover and ran up the length of the field, to score in the last second of the game. Despite Cornell’s attempt to challenge the play, believing that the ball was launched after the clock had expired, the ruling on the field remained and Syracuse won 8-7.

“We are going to use this loss as a building block for our season. With two of the toughest Ivy League teams left on our schedule, we have to stay the course, learn from this game, and continue to invest in practicing as hard as we can to prepare for our next opponent,” said Dudley. “Overall, we learned a lot about ourselves tonight and most importantly, about the level of preparation and commitment to each other that is going to make us successful down the road.”

Original Author: Jill Mendelsohn