Julia Nagel/Sun Photography Editor

The Red has just three regular season games remaining.

April 13, 2023

PREVIEW: Men’s Lacrosse Hits the Road for a Top 10 Tilt Against Army

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As the team prepares for the stretch run of the regular season, No. 6 men’s lacrosse will hit the road for a high caliber matchup against No. 7 Army on Saturday, April 15. This is Cornell’s last non-conference game of the regular season, and it holds heavy implications for both teams’ postseason plans.

The Red (8-2, 3-1 Ivy) is coming off a midweek victory against Marquette on Tuesday, April 11. Cornell flexed its muscles on offense and defense, jumping out to a 10-1 lead in the second quarter and cruising to a 21-11 win.

The Cornell defense, anchored by senior defenseman Gavin Adler and senior goalkeeper Chayse Ierlan, ranks ninth in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 10 goals per game. The Red is also 14th in the country in caused turnovers per game, averaging 9.30.

Junior attacker CJ Kirst will continue his quest to break the Cornell single-season goal record. The current mark was set last season by John Piatelli ’22, who scored 66 goals on the Red’s run to the National Championship. Sitting at 49 goals through his first 10 games, Kirst is on track to pass Piatelli during the Red’s postseason play. The junior leads all of D1 in goals, goals per game (4.9) and points per game (6.0).

Nevertheless, he and the rest of the Cornell offense will have to contend with an elite Army defense. The Black Knights has the second ranked scoring defense in the nation, allowing just 8.0 goals per game. Army’s defense is led by sophomore defender AJ Pilate, who has 12 caused turnovers and 21 ground balls, and sophomore long stick midfielder Christian Fournier, who has 18 caused turnovers and 27 ground balls.

The Black Knights (9-1, 6-0 Patriot League) won a close 10-9 game against Colgate on Saturday, April 8. Army scored three out of four goals in the fourth quarter to complete the come-from-behind victory. 

Army sports the best win percentage in D1 lacrosse at .900. The Black Knights lost its first game of the season to the University of Massachusetts. Since then, the team has rattled off nine consecutive wins, including ranked victories against Rutgers (ranked No. 8 at the time) and Loyola Maryland (ranked No. 9 at the time).

The Red has looked solid for much of this year, but a couple of lackluster performances has created questions about the team’s ability to show up against the top squads in the nation. A win against Army would go a long way to cementing Cornell as a top five team in the country.

The Red’s contest is set to start at noon at Michie Stadium. It will be available on ESPN+.