On a Senior Day to remember, the Red finished the final regular season home contest on top before entering a four game road trip to close out the year.
Clear skies and warm weather Saturday at Schoellkopf Field greeted the streaking No. 3 Red (9-1, 3-0 Ivy League), who pummeled Ivy foe Dartmouth (2-6, 0-2) in a 21-5 sendoff for the senior class.
Senior forward Steve Mock scored the first of his three goals for the Red in the game’s second minute, and senior midfielder Connor English scored a second unassisted goal just minutes later to give the Red a 2-0 advantage. By the end of the quarter, the Red held a decisive 6-1 lead and kept Dartmouth searching for answers for the remainder of the game.
The second period was marked by a flurry of shots for the Red — 17 total and eight on-goal — as Cornell extended the lead to 10-3. Sophomore attackman Matt Donovan finished the quarter with two goals and the 2012 Ivy League rookie of the year finished the game with four goals and an assist.
After becoming all-time leading scorer for the Cornell men’s lacrosse program last week against Penn, fifth-year senior attackman Rob Pannell got in on the action with three points — one goal, two assists — on three consecutive goals in the third period.
The Red scored its season-high 21st goal early into the fourth, by which time senior goaltender A.J. Fiore was subbed out for freshman goalie Brennan Donville. Sophomore William Joyce also received some playing time in goal after Donville made three saves and relinquished one score in ten minutes. Fiore finished the game with five saves and collected his ninth win on the year.
Having been plagued periodically by poor clearing this season, the Red rebounded against the Big Green by going a perfect 22-for-22 on clearing chances and keeping the defense fresh. Meanwhile, the Red scooped up 41 ground balls — three by senior defenseman Jason Noble — to Dartmouth’s 18. An all-around effort was extended to the faceoff, where junior midfielder Doug Tesoriero went 18-for-26 en route to the Red’s total of 19 faceoffs won compared to Dartmouth’s 10.
The 21-5 blowout against the Big Green marks the Red’s largest margin of victory since a 19-3 win over Colgate on Mar. 2, and the biggest margin over an Ivy League opponent ever in head coach Ben DeLuca’s ’98 tenure.
With the victory over Dartmouth, the Red remains in sole possession of first place in the Ivy League and is poised to move up in the rankings following No. 19 St. John’s upset of No. 1 Notre Dame. Cornell has now won three straight since falling to Bucknell on March 19th and has earned a 5-1 record at Schoellkopf Field this season.
Next on tap for the Red is a trip to Cambridge to take on Harvard (4-5, 1-1) this Saturday. Cornell will then close out the year with road games against No. 9 Syracuse (6-2), Brown (5-3, 1-1) and No. 10 Princeton (6-2, 2-1). The team will be looking to avoid last season’s disappointing finish, in which the Red also began the year with a 9-1 record, but fell to Brown and Princeton to close the season, ultimately missing the NCAA Tournament.
Original Author: Chris Mills