The Cornell men’s lacrosse team suffered a narrow 19-18 loss at Saturday’s Pacific Coast Shootout to Virginia in an intense, high-scoring matchup. Despite the Red’s tremendous efforts in forcing the Cavaliers into a thrilling overtime period, Cornell suffered its fourth consecutive loss to open the season.
Opening a 6-0 lead by the end of the first quarter, the Red (0-4) created an immediate edge for itself against the the Cavaliers (5-2) through its explosive offense.
Freshman attacker Jeff Teat had a strong performance on the night, leading the Red’s offense with five goals and four assists. Sophomore midfielder Clarke Peterson contributed four goals and one assist, while freshman attack Connor Fletcher contributed by notching two goals and three assists.
However, Cornell’s goal differential began to slip in the second quarter, as UVA increasingly ramped up its offensive pressure shown by eight shots in the second quarter compared to the Red’s four. The Cavaliers successfully netted four goals in the second, and ended the half with a five goal deficit of 9-4.
“The game was pretty back and forth,” said sophomore midfielder Jordan Dowiak. “We got off to a nice lead in the first quarter, and then they made a comeback … It’s [all] a game of runs.”
Trailing by five goals at the start of the second half, yet still firmly within striking distance, UVA made a critical defensive change by substituting Griffin Thompson in for Will Railey at goalie. Thompson would record several momentum saving goals in the second half for UVA.
“We did a good job against their first string goalie, so they ended up pulling him and they put in [Thompson] for the second half,” Dowiak said. “He made a couple good saves at the start of the second to get them going and then they went on a little bit of a run.”
The Cavalier’s second-half goalie switch led UVA to larger scoring runs and overall positive point production in the third quarter. Limiting the Red to two goals in the third quarter while scoring nine of its own, Virginia leapt back into the game with a 13-12 lead to start the final quarter
Down in the final stretch of the fourth quarter, Cornell led by only a single goal, 17-16. UVA seemingly completed its comeback victory after scoring two quick goals in the next minute. However, with four seconds remaining on the game clock, a miracle goal off a faceoff from Dowiak sent the game into overtime.
“They scored with fourteen seconds left and we were lucky enough to get a goal with four seconds to tie it up and bring it to overtime,” Dowiak said.
Although the Red ventured into overtime hoping to secure its first victory of the season, UVA’s Zed Williams hammered in a game-winning overtime goal at the 2:42 mark to leave the Red winless.
While the Red undoubtedly suffered a heartbreaking loss in this game, the team still took away positives.
“[On Saturday] we proved that we can pretty play with anyone,” Dowiak said. “Virginia is one of the best teams in the country and we could’ve won that game if we would’ve made a few different plays. It’s definitely a confidence booster going into playing Yale next weekend knowing that we can play at that level.”
The Red will have its next chance to record a win as it travels to New Haven this Saturday, March 18, to take on Yale in its first Ivy league matchup.