Entering its tallest task of the season thus far, No. 3 men’s lacrosse traveled to Columbus, Ohio to take on No. 8 Ohio State (3-2). Both teams displayed elite talent throughout the contest, but it was Cornell that was able to come away with the win, 16-13.
The Red (4-0) got on the board first just over four minutes into play, when junior attacker CJ Kirst roped one into the lower left corner. Kirst continued to perform at a high level, finishing the day with four goals and one assist.
The first penalty of the day went against Cornell at the nine-minute mark, when senior attacker Billy Coyle was called for an offside. The Buckeyes took advantage of the 30-second man advantage, cashing in to tie the game at one.
It was a defensive battle throughout the first quarter, as the Red forced four turnovers and made three saves. Senior goalkeeper Chayse Ierlan finished the day with eight saves.
After four minutes of scoreless play, the Cornell ride, which has been one of the most successful in the nation, broke through. Junior midfielder Hugh Kelleher got a steal in the Buckeyes’ defensive end and found senior attacker Brian Piatelli, who put the Red back up by one.
Less than a minute later, the Red had another prime opportunity on a man-up advantage. Kelleher created offense again, as he got his defender to bite on a stick fake before spinning forward and firing it into the back of the net.
Cornell continued to apply pressure on the attack, and with three-and-a-half minutes left Kirst was able to find junior midfielder Andrew Dalton cutting across the middle of the field. Dalton finished from just outside the crease to increase the lead to three.
The Buckeyes was able to respond before the end of the quarter, converting at the end of a multi-minute possession. Cornell ended the first 15 leading, 4-2.
It took the Red 13 seconds to bring the lead back up to three. Freshman faceoff specialist Jack Cascadden won the opening battle at the x and stormed straight downhill. Ohio State was late on its defensive shift, and Cascadden was able to set up in an open lane and score.
The Buckeyes was able to respond with a goal of its own, but Cornell dominated for the rest of the half. Kirst and Coyle went back and forth with two goals each. Ohio State had no response in the second quarter, and the Red went to the locker room leading, 9-3.
The sparks began to fly in the second half as both offenses were on display. The Buckeyes drew within five when Ed Shean was able to fight through contact up the middle and score from just outside the crease. Shean had two goals in the quarter and three in the game.
It was a back-and-forth third quarter, as the Red responded less than a minute later. Displaying excellent vision, senior JJ Lombardi found a wide open Piatelli across the field, who converted the open look.
Shean brought Ohio State’s deficit back to five with his second goal of the quarter, but Coyle and senior attacker Spencer Wirtheim both converted to widen the gap to seven. Wirtheim’s goal, which ricocheted off both posts before going in, was his first of the year.
The Buckeyes continued to stay competitive, getting two late goals in the quarter. All-American Jack Myers, who did not record a goal in the game, got one of his three assists with 46 seconds left in the third. The Red headed to the final 15 leading, 12-8.
Cornell went back up by six after two-and-a-half minutes. Piatelli was able to take advantage of nifty ball movement, getting his jump shot to go. A minute later, Kirst got his fourth, working a narrow angle from just next to the right pipe.
The Buckeyes kept the game within reach, getting three more goals before the midway point of the fourth. Nevertheless, Cornell was able to keep a comfortable lead as Coyle used a pick to score his fourth of the day. Kelleher was able to score his second with nine-and-a-half minutes remaining, using the bounce shot to beat the Buckeyes’ goalkeeper.
The Red conceded two more goals to Ohio State with less than a minute left, but with Cornell’s three-goal lead and only seconds remaining, the Buckeyes did not mount a full comeback. Cornell left Columbus with its first ranked win of the season, 16-13.
The Red returns home next weekend to take on Penn State (3-1) on Saturday, March 11 at noon. The game will be available on ESPN+.