Looking to improve to 3-0, No. 3 men’s lacrosse traveled to Geneva, NY, on Tuesday, Feb. 28 for the next chapter in the oldest rivalry in college lacrosse. The Red had played Hobart (2-2) 139 times, spanning 125 years. Exerting its will on the Statesmen, Cornell controlled the game throughout, winning, 17-8.
Hobart kicked off the match with a goal, but its lead was short lived. The Red quickly responded, with junior attacker CJ Kirst finding the near 90 from just outside the crease. It was another statement day for Kirst, who finished with seven goals and four assists.
Kirst’s goal was the first of eight straight for Cornell. Two minutes later it was senior attacker Aiden Blake with a rope from 10 yards out off a pass from junior midfielder Hugh Kelleher.
The Red was unable to take advantage of a man-up penalty, but it was senior attacker Billy Coyle wrapping around from behind the net on the ensuing possession for Cornell’s third goal.
Cornell closed the quarter out with two more goals from Kirst. Ball movement was on full display for Kirst’s third, as passes behind the net set up the junior in front. The Red finished the first 15 leading, 5-1.
It was Kirst again to start the second quarter, locking up a natural hat trick with his fourth goal of the game. Less than a minute later, Blake converted from just outside the crease off a pass from a double-teamed Kirst. Senior attacker Brain Piatelli increased Cornell’s lead to seven, going top shelf from the left side of the field.
With the Red surging, the Statesmen began to show some life. Utilizing the one-hopper, Hobart
was able to get two back, keeping itself within range.
After nearly seven minutes of scoreless play, both teams scored within the final 10 seconds of the half. First it was junior midfielder Andrew Dalton with eight seconds remaining, followed quickly by a goal from the Statesman as the clock hit zeroes. The Red went to the locker room leading, 9-5.
After a strong defensive showing from both teams for the first five minutes of the second half, it was senior midfielder JJ Lombardi breaking through with a shot that slid just inside the left pipe.
Lombardi’s goal jump-started a dominant third quarter for Cornell. The Red won 14 of 16 ground balls and out-scored the Statesmen 6-1. Piatelli, Coyle, Dalton, Kelleher and Kirst all scored to give Cornell a comfortable 15-6 lead heading to the fourth.
With the contest all but decided heading into the final 15, both teams were able to bring subs in, allowing more players to see the field. Kirst capped off his night with two more goals, and the Statesmen was also able to find two of its own late in the period. Remaining in control from start to finish, the Red topped Hobart, 17-8.
On top of Cornell’s offensive success, it was another strong performance from senior goalkeeper Chayse Ierlan. Ierlan saved 16 of 24 shots on goal, good enough for a .667 save percentage. With both the defense and offense playing at a high level, Cornell will be a tough out for any team.
The Red will face its toughest opponent thus far this Saturday, March 4 when it travels to Columbus, Ohio to take on No. 8 Ohio State (3-1) at noon. The game will be available on the BIG10 network.