Cornell men’s lacrosse was a force to be reckoned with on Tuesday night.
Just two days after notching his first career goal against Albany, freshman attack John Piatelli led the way for the Red, notching four goals and a pair of assists in Cornell’s 18-2 victory over the Bearcats at Schoellkopf Field.
“I was just waiting to get that first [goal],” Piatelli said. “Once I got that first one, that gave me a lot of confidence. I got a lot of selfless teammates … and I just finish when I can.”
Junior attack Clarke Petterson added five goals of his own, while sophomore standout Jeff Teat, the Red’s leading scorer, put up a relatively quiet three points on the day.
“Teams have been pushing on Jeff; they know how much of threat he is,” Petterson said. “I think we are a really well-rounded group and if they [shift on] Jeff, it just leaves more space for the five of us to work on the field.”
After a slow start to the season fundamentally, Cornell (2-2) executed the basics well on Tuesday.
“Overall it was a great, complete game,” said interim head coach Peter Milliman. “We were really proud of the way we played throughout, intensity stayed consistent right up until the end.”
The Red jumped out of the gate with a dominant first half, putting up 10 straight goals on Binghamton (0-6) to start the night.
While the team struggled with the clear in its first few games, Cornell seemed to finally find its groove, executing 21 of 22 clears against the Bearcats.
“There was a level of patience today,” Milliman said. “We’ve been working on them pretty hard and making sure we [take] time to let the clear develop.”
With the lead growing throughout the contest, the Red opted to substitute out its starters entering the final quarter and managed to notch two scores with its reserves.
“We finished strong,” Milliman said. “We got some good minutes out of a lot of people and all in all [it was] a good answer to Sunday’s [loss to Albany].”
“We were hungry to get back out on the field,” Petterson added. “This Tuesday game for us was the best thing that could happen.”
Next up for Cornell will be No. 20 Penn State on neutral turf at the U.S. Lacrosse Headquarters.
“I think the venue is going to be exciting,” Milliman said. “It’s a nice, new venue. [U.S. Lacrosse is] hosting a ton of games down there. I think it’s going to draw a different crowd outside of our normal recruiting and playing area.”
Milliman’s squad will look to rise above .500 for the first time this season against the nationally ranked Nittany Lions (3-2).
“They are very good and we are going to have to be sharp in a lot of areas,” Milliman said. “But if we can compete on the offensive and defensive ends like [against Binghamton] and fight in the middle of the field, scrap the faceoffs, it’s going to be a battle.”
Faceoff will be at noon Saturday in Sparks, Maryland.