Senior attacker Michael Long, who was a lynchpin piece of No. 7 men’s lacrosse’s offense last season, was sidelined with an injury for the first five games of this year. Making his first start of the season today against No. 8 Yale, Long returned with thunder, scoring three goals in an all-around dominant performance for the Red. With 10 players finding the back of the net and 21 saves from senior goalkeeper Chayse Ierlan, Cornell cruised to a 20-10 victory.
The Red (5-1, 1-0 Ivy) was coming off its first loss of the season to Penn State, a game in which the offense mustered just six goals. Scoring proved to be no issue for Cornell against the Bulldogs, as it took less than a quarter to match the mark from last weekend.
Yale (3-2, 0-1 Ivy) came out of the gate playing physical, displaying its vaunted top-ranked ride. The Bulldogs forced two turnovers on Cornell clear attempts, and converted the second into the first goal of the game.
A minute later, Yale added on with a diving shot from attacker Chris Lyons. This opening momentum was short lived and the Red quickly took over the game, going on an eight goal run.
Junior midfielder Hugh Kelleher got Cornell on the board first, recovering a failed pass in front of the Yale crease and burying it in the back of the net. A minute-and-a-half later, the Red tied up the game on a shot from senior midfielder Aiden Blake. The Red did not trail for the rest of the game.
Cornell took the lead with six-and-a-half minutes remaining in the first when a quick clear from senior goalkeeper Chayse Ierlan set up a goal for junior long stick midfielder Walker Wallace. It was Wallace’s first goal of his collegiate career.
Concern arose for the Red just 30 seconds later when Ierlan went down on the field after saving a Bulldog shot. He was helped off the field and returned to the game four minutes later.
The Red closed the quarter with five more unanswered goals. Long got his first of the day with a minute remaining, and junior attacker CJ Kirst had a top-shelf buzzer beater with one second left on the game clock. Cornell led 8-2 after the first.
Looking to get back into the game, the Bulldogs started the second quarter hot, scoring two early goals. However, the run was again short-lived, as the Red closed out the half scoring four unanswered.
Kirst and Long went back-and-forth with two more goals each in the final 11 minutes of the half. The Red had strong ball movement in the period, with senior attacker Billy Coyle assisting on the final two goals of the half.
Coyle was crucial on the attack throughout, finishing the day with six assists and eight points. Cornell went into the locker room leading handily, 12-4.
The second half opened with a flurry of goals, with three being scored in a 13 second span. Scoring first was senior attacker Spencer Wirtheim with his second goal of the day, wrapping around from behind the net and cashing in on the near 90.
The Red won the ensuing face-off, and junior face-off specialist Marc Psyllos took it himself and beat Yale goalkeeper Jared Paquette. On the following face-off, Yale responded with an immediate win at the x and score.
The Red closed out the third with two more goals to lead by 11. Senior midfielder JJ Lombardi finished an open look setup by Blake at the midway point of the quarter. With four minutes remaining, another great set of ball movement ended in Kirst’s fourth of the day. Kirst finished with another excellent performance, with five goals.
Carrying an 11 goal lead into the fourth quarter, the Red was in full control. Yale was able to get five goals in the final 15, but it was not enough to remain competitive. Cornell countered with four goals of its own — two from junior midfielder Ryan Sheehan, one from Kirst and one from Coyle. The Red was able to run out the clock and take a decisive 20-10 victory.
Despite drawing even on face-off wins and shots on goal, the Red was able to exert its will over Yale from start to finish. The 20 goals scored is the most for Cornell in a game since 2020.
The Red returns home next week to take on No. 17 Penn. The game is set to start at noon on Sunday, March 26 and will be available on ESPNU.