March 11, 2012

M. LACROSSE | Men Fall to Virginia in Overtime

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With less than a minute to go on the clock at the 2012 Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic, the Red needed to act quickly if it wanted to stay in the game against Virginia and force an overtime period. The No. 1-ranked Cavaliers (7-0) seemed to have the game on lock, but with just 28 seconds remaining in play, junior attacker Max Van Bourgondien put one away for Cornell (3-1), tying the game, 8-8, and sending the contest into a sudden death period. The Red’s fourth game of the season — the second without injured senior captain Rob Pannell — could have gone either way, as both teams created multiple scoring opportunities in overtime; however, at 2:25 into the four-minute frame, UVA’s Steele Stanwick found fellow senior captain Colin Briggs on the doorstep and the Cavaliers claimed the win, 9-8.

“The whole game was a battle and [games against teams like Virginia] can be high scoring games or low scoring games,” said junior attacker Steve Mock. “We are both high scoring teams and they are a great defensive team, but that’s just the way the game played out and how we responded to that.”

The day began in Virginia’s favors, as the Cavaliers scored the opening goal with 5:53 remaining in the first frame. The period ended scoreless for the Red; however, something sparked for Cornell at the beginning of the second period, with the team firing off three winners in a two and a half minute span. Senior midfielder Roy Lang scored Cornell’s first goal at 20:37 into the game, bringing the 2-0 goal deficit within one. Mock capitalized off a man advantage and sent a rocket into the net, tying the game at 2-2. Less than a minute later, senior midfielder J.J. Gilbane lifted the Red to 3-2 with an assist by Van Bourgondien. Virginia retaliated with two goals of its own, but Mock cashed in his second man-up goal of the day, ending the frame tied, 4-4, with 6:49 left before the half.

“Roy had a good goal there and [Virginia] had a penalty that I capitalized for the first time, then J.J. came back with a good goal and I finished it off with an another extra-man goal,” Mock said. “We capitalized off of their mistakes on the sequence.”

The momentum that Cornell built during the half stalled in the third period, as the Cavaliers turned it up a notch and held the Red scoreless, all while building a 7-4 lead on three unassisted goals. Throughout the game, the Red held the advantage in ground balls, picking up 30 compared to the Cavaliers’ 27; however, Virginia edged out Cornell by three for shots, recording 38 to the Red’s 35. The Red also turned the ball over four times in the third period, with UVA recording only two turnovers. According to Mock, a lack of execution may have been a factor for the Red.

“It was a lack of execution; it was frustrating looking back on that,” he said. “All those could be possessions or goals in our favor. It’s frustrating that something like that happens in a game against UVA. It’s definitely something we can continue to work on. It was definitely something disappointing from that game.”

The fourth period was like a second wind for the Red, as the team went on to score four more times, tying the game with Van Bourgondien’s down to the wire goal. Junior attacker Connor English started the sequence, scoring back-to-back unassisted goals within a 21 second span, just 16 seconds after Stanwick put away UVA’s eighth goal. The score was 8-7, and the Red was attempting to seize momentum once more. While the Red created a few opportunities and maintained possession for most of the overtime period, ultimately the Cavaliers rode off with the 9-8 victory.

“If we could do it again, we’d probably play the same way,” Mock said. “We made a few mistakes and didn’t capitalize off a few opportunities. It’s disappointing that we couldn’t pull it out because we had the ball in our possession. I think it’s something we can learn from in the future.”

By the end of the day, two players had recorded two goals, four recorded one goal and a combined eight players notched at least one point in the contest. Sophomore goaltender Andrew West made nine saves between the pipes for the Red, a testament to the tight game played by both teams. According to Mock, the Cavaliers slowed down their normal game, opting for a zone defense style, which required the Red’s offense to be patient when it came to scoring opportunities. Sophomore midfielder Doug Tesoriero won 10 of the game’s 21 face-offs for Cornell. Cornell opens Ivy League play on Saturday, March 17 at 1 p.m. in a face-off against Yale (2-2) on Schoellkopf Field.

Original Author: Lauren Ritter