It took just six seconds for No. 5 men’s lacrosse to get on the board against Dartmouth –– a goal which set the tone for a dominant day. The Red burst out of the gate with 10 goals in the first quarter and never looked back. With 10 different players finding the back of the net, Cornell cruised to a 22-11 victory.
The Red (7-1, 3-0 Ivy) was coming off a win against Penn last Sunday, March 26. The Big Green (6-2, 1-1 Ivy) broke its 35-game Ivy losing streak last weekend with a win against Harvard.
Despite going up against an elite Dartmouth face off squad, Cornell was in control of the possession game. Freshman face off specialist Jack Cascadden started off the game with a win at the x and took it himself up the middle of the field for the opening goal.
The Red won the following two face offs and converted both into goals. Junior attacker CJ Kirst was able to force a double team and find senior attacker Brian Piatelli just outside the crease for an easy finish. Just 14 seconds later, Kirst was able to beat his defender and fire one into the top right corner.
Cornell rattled off six unanswered goals to start the game. Kirst scored his second with just under 11 minutes left, wrapping around from behind the net and going bar down. Less than a minute later, senior midfielder Aiden Blake snuck a one-hopper through from 15 yards out.
Senior attacker Billy Coyle tacked on the Red’s sixth goal at the midway point of the quarter. With just over seven minutes remaining, the Big Green scored its first goal.
Continuing to put on pressure, Cornell responded with four consecutive goals. After a nice save from Dartmouth goalkeeper Sam Cooper, junior midfielder Hugh Kelleher recovered the ground ball and got the put back to go.
Blake tacked on his second a minute-and-a-half later, beating the shot clock and going top shelf with one second left. A minute later, Kelleher was able to knife his way through two defenders and score to put the Red up, 9-1.
Cornell was able to add one more to its monster first quarter. Senior midfielder JJ Lombardi found Piatelli on the goal line extended, who worked the tight angle and got a one-hopper to go.
The Big Green got one more goal in the quarter off a man-up chance, but it was all Red in the opening 15. Cornell led 10-2, having won 10 of 13 faceoffs and 14 of 18 ground balls.
Junior midfielder Ryan Sheehan extended the Red’s lead a minute into the second period, taking a long wind up before burying it into the top right corner. The Big Green was able to respond, using a nifty off-ball cut towards the goal to set up a shot from just outside the crease.
Refusing to take its foot off the gas pedal, Cornell responded with three goals. Following an offsides against Dartmouth, senior attacker Spencer Wirtheim took it himself in transition, beating his defender and rattling a shot off the right pole and in.
Blake and Kelleher locked up hat tricks to end the half, extending the Cornell lead to 14-3. Looking for momentum on its last possession, the Big Green was able to score with 15 seconds left in the half. The Red took a 10 goal lead to the locker room.
Looking to put some life in its offense, Dartmouth opened up the second half with a goal. Again the Red was able to respond, as Kelleher scored his fourth a minute later. With just over nine minutes remaining, Wirtheim found Kirst inside, and the junior was able to spin and fire for his third of the day.
It was a back-and-forth third quarter, as Dartmouth responded with two goals of its own. Nevertheless, the Big Green was unable to build sustained momentum, and the Red closed out the quarter with goals from Coyle and Blake.
Heading to the fourth quarter with an 11 goal lead, the game was all over but the final score. Both teams scored four goals in the final 15. Kirst got two to finish with five on the day, and freshman attacker Brian Luzzi got his first collegiate goal with just under two minutes remaining.
The Red was able to run out the clock to close out a 22-11 victory. Blake and Kelleher ended with season high goal counts, scoring four each. Cornell’s face off unit, which has shown improvement throughout the season, won 21 of 37 battles at the x.
Cornell will travel to Cambridge, Massachusetts next Saturday, April 8 to take on Harvard. The game will start at noon and be broadcasted on ESPN+.