While most Cornellians are getting set to leave campus for spring break, No. 5 men’s lacrosse (6-1, 2-0 Ivy) has a different plan in mind — taking on Dartmouth (6-1, 1-0 Ivy) on Saturday, April 1. The matchup of the current top two teams in the Ivy standings will determine who takes the edge in the conference going into the back end of the season.
The Red is coming off of a six-goal victory against Penn. Cornell was led by junior attacker CJ Kirst, who was named to the USILA National Team of the Week after scoring seven goals. Kirst is continuing to have a stellar season, leading all of D1 lacrosse in goals per game (4.86), points per game (5.86) and is tied for total goals with 34.
Cornell also took a major step forward with its play at the x last weekend, going 24 of 34 on faceoffs against Penn. Freshman faceoff specialist Jack Cascadden picked up Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors after going 12-for-16 at the x.
Nevertheless, the Red’s faceoff unit faces a tall task against Dartmouth. The Big Green ranks third in the nation in faceoff win percentage at .640. The unit is led by Mitchell Myers, who has won 112 of his 174 faceoff attempts.
Dartmouth has spent this season on a mission to prove its critics wrong. Originally picked to finish last in the Ivy League Preseason Poll, the Big Green has burst out of the gate, winning six of its first seven games.
Dartmouth made a statement last week when it topped Harvard, 10-9, in overtime. Trailing 9-5 in the fourth quarter, the Big Green rallied to score four goals while shutting the Crimson out in the final 15 to force overtime.
In extra time it was Colin McGill playing the hero, scoring the deciding goal to clinch Dartmouth’s first Ivy League win since 2015. The victory snapped a 35-game losing streak in conference play.
The Big Green has its sights set on more than one Ivy win, however. A victory over Cornell would likely be enough to boost the team into the national rankings.
Dartmouth proved last week that no lead is safe — this game will take a full 60 minute effort. If the Big Green is able to control the possession game as it has done successfully all year, it could cause trouble for the Red.
Cornell’s contest is set to start at noon at Schoellkopf Field. It will be available on ESPN+.