After three weeks of scorching hot offense, No. 4 men’s lacrosse was stifled against an aggressive Harvard defense this past Saturday, April 8. The Red let an early three-goal lead slip away, scoring just two total goals in the middle two quarters. Despite keeping it close, Cornell ultimately fell, 10-8.
The Red (7-2, 3-1 Ivy) was coming off a dominant win against Dartmouth in which it scored a season high 22 goals. The Crimson (5-4, 2-1 Ivy) lost to Dartmouth before defeating Colgate on Saturday, April 1.
Cornell got off to a fast start, scoring three goals in the first four minutes of play. The Red won the opening face-off, and junior attacker CJ Kirst got the team on the board, using a screen to get open before firing top shelf.
Senior attacker Brian Piatelli grew the lead with two goals in a six-second span. His first came on a putback of a blocked shot from senior attacker Billy Coyle. Freshman face-off specialist Jack Cascadden won the ensuing battle at the x, and Piatelli took advantage of the Red’s transition offense, beating the Harvard goalkeeper on the near 90.
Cornell was unable to keep up the pressure, however, and the Crimson roared back, scoring eight of the next ten goals. Junior midfielder Hugh Kelleher scored once in the second, and Kirst scored again in the third, but the Red struggled to convert looks and find space against Harvard’s defense.
With 12 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Harvard took its biggest lead of the day, going up, 8-5. At this point, the Red’s offense appeared to regain some life, as Kirst and Piatelli both notched goals to bring Cornell within one.
A Harvard goal with four-and-a-half minutes remaining put the Crimson back up by two, but Kirst responded with his fourth goal of the day under a minute later. Nevertheless, the Red failed to find the equalizer, and Harvard scored an insurance goal with just over two minutes left.
The 10-8 loss is the second on the season for the Red, and the first in conference play. Despite solid days at the face-off x for Cascadden and senior face-off specialist Angelo Petrakis, Cornell was unable to take advantage of its possessions. The Red committed 19 turnovers, tied for its second highest mark of the season.
Cornell has little time to sit on this loss, as it is back in action this Tuesday, April 11, when it hosts Marquette (6-4, 1-1 Big East) at Schoellkopf Field. The game is set to start at noon and will be televised on ESPN+.