Days after a road loss to Syracuse, Cornell men’s lacrosse rebounded with a nonconference win, downing another high-profile squad to boost its national profile as it heads into the home stretch of Ivy League play.
While Cornell’s identity — and primary source of success — is its high powered offense, its defense and goaltender allowed it to beat Notre Dame on the road, 11-9, on Sunday afternoon.
Freshman goaltender Chayse Ierlan made 17 saves, weathering a game that saw the Red commit six penalties to the Irish’s one. Ierlan also made 17 stops at the Carrier Dome last week.
“I think he’s done very well, I’m happy with the mentality, I’m happy with his work ethic,” head coach Peter Milliman said of the goaltender midweek. “I think he’s a great teammate and he fulfills his expectations when it comes to that.”
Senior attack Clarke Petterson and junior midfielder Cooper Telesco scored three goals each for Cornell. The three goals mark a career-high for Telesco.
After the 13-7 loss to Syracuse, which Milliman called his team’s “best defensive game we’ve played all year,” Cornell surrendered single-digit goals for the fourth time this season.
“We had to change some things defensively, about midseason,” Milliman said after the Syracuse loss. “We had to make some significant system changes, and that set us back a little bit. And I kind of saw that that was gonna take a little while.”
But for a second straight game, Cornell’s defense stepped up to the task despite modest offensive production. Against the Orange, Cornell scored fewer than 11 goals for the first time all season — Cornell’s 11 goals against the Fighting Irish tied for its second-lowest output of the year.
The offensive production was enough, though, given Ierlan and the Cornell defense’s ability to hold the Irish at bay. The Red knew goals would be at a premium — Milliman said Notre Dame presents a “Yale-level defense.”
Leading 7-6 after the third quarter, Cornell’s offense went to work, completing a five-goal run to take a 10-6 lead with less than six minutes left in the game. While it seemed Cornell’s offense had put the game away, Notre Dame went on a three-goal run to pull within one goal at 10-9 before the Red reestablished a multi-goal lead for the final 11-9 margin. The back-and-forth game featured six ties.
Two straight games at Syracuse and Notre Dame — two of the toughest road venues in college lacrosse — promise to put Cornell on an upward trajectory heading into its final two games of the season.
Cornell is 2-2 in Ivy League play — tied for third place — with two conference games remaining. The Red takes on Brown at noon Saturday in Providence. Cornell’s final game of the season comes April 27 against Princeton.
Dylan McDevitt ’19 contributed reporting to this article.