Just hours after defeating national No. 1 Yale to win the Ivy League tournament, Cornell men’s lacrosse learned that it had not done enough to secure a home game in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Instead, the Red will have to travel up I-81 to the Carrier Dome, where it will face eighth-seeded Syracuse in the round of 16 of the national playoffs.
Cornell is the team traveling in this matchup, despite having defeated Syracuse head-to-head April 10. What’s more, the Red won its conference tournament, boasted a top-10 RPI and lost only four games — all resume pieces that Syracuse is lacking.
According to the NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse selection committee chairman John Hardt, Syracuse’s 3-1 record against common opponents to Cornell’s 2-2 record against common opponents was enough to outweigh Cornell’s other advantages over the Orange.
“The committee spent a lot of time looking at this matchup,” Hardt said on the selection show on ESPNU. “Cornell had a nice head-to-head win over Syracuse earlier in the season … Quite frankly, Cornell had a couple of bad losses to Colgate and Princeton. We thought the overall profile gave the edge to Syracuse.”
For its part, the Red feels as though it is ready to travel to Syracuse and execute another win over the Orange.
“I would have loved to have another game on Schoellkopf, but we’re fired up to go to the Dome,” said senior captain Jordan Dowiak. “We can’t wait to get after them this weekend.”
Dowiak is one of just five current Cornell players to have ever stepped on the field during an NCAA tournament game, with the Red’s current senior class having fallen to Albany in the first round their freshman year.
“As a senior class, it’s on us to keep everyone dialed in and focused on the task at hand,” Dowiak said. “Just worry about us and try to get better every day.”
The game will begin at 7:15 p.m. next Sunday at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.