This article has been updated.
With May lacrosse just around the corner, No. 6 men’s lacrosse traveled to Providence, Rhode Island to take on Brown. Junior attacker CJ Kirst led the offense with six goals, and the defense shut the Bears out in the final 21 minutes of play to cruise to a 16-9 win. The Red’s fourth conference victory is enough to clinch a spot in the Ivy Tournament.
The Red (10-2, 4-1 Ivy) started off fast, getting a goal on its opening possession. Freshman face-off specialist Jack Cascadden won the battle at the x, and junior midfielder Hugh Kelleher cashed in on a bounce shot.
The Bears (5-7, 1-4 Ivy) responded with two goals to take an early lead. Brown’s first came off a forced turnover on the ride — an issue for Cornell in the first half. The team converted just six of its nine clear attempts, far below its usual standard of 91 percent.
The teams traded goals midway through the first quarter. Kirst, who scored zero goals against Army last week, got his first of the day on a top shelf shot to tie it at two. The Bears responded on the following possession, winning the ensuing face-off before Matteo Corsi scored a top shelf goal of his own.
Brown’s lead lasted just over a minute before the Red stormed back with four unanswered goals. The first three came from Kirst, who had a natural hat trick and four total goals by the end of the first quarter. With just over a minute remaining in the quarter, senior attacker Billy Coyle got a five-hole shot to go off a question mark move, and Cornell quickly had a 6-3 lead.
Needing to cut into the Red’s momentum, the Bears forced another turnover on the ride. With enough time for one possession, Brown transitioned quickly, getting an open look and score with 15 seconds left. Cornell ended the opening quarter leading, 6-4.
Turnovers were an issue for Brown throughout the game, as the Bears committed 14 in the first half. One of these came on the team’s opening possession of the second quarter, setting up the Red’s transition offense. Freshman long stick midfielder Brendan Staub got out in front of the Bears’ defense, and got an open look in the hole, burying the pole goal.
Cornell tacked on two quick goals a minute later. After moving the ball around the box, senior attacker Spencer Wirtheim took a feed pass from senior attacker Michael Long and got a bounce shot to go.
The Bears won the ground ball from the following face-off, but committed a turnover in its defensive end. Kirst took over possession for the Red, and with no Brown defenders picking him up, fired a one-hopper from 15 yards out into the back of the net.
After more than four minutes without scoring, the Bears began to cut into Cornell’s lead, getting a feed pass from x to a cutting Marcus Wertheim, who got an easy shot to go from just outside the crease. A minute later, after a timeout and a couple of missed shots, Corsi drove down the left side of the box and beat senior goalkeeper Chayse Ierlan to the near 90.
The Red finished the half strong, scoring two to take a five goal lead into the locker room. First Kirst found Long, who went top shelf for his first of the day. A minute later, Coyle took a feed from Wirtheim and scored on a quick stick shot in the hole. The Red led 11-6 at halftime.
Much as it did in the first two quarters, the Red scored in the opening minute of the third. After good ball movement around the box, Long came open on the left side of the hole and scored low to increase the Red’s lead to six.
Refusing to quit, the Brown offense began to heat up in the third quarter. The Bears scored three unanswered, the first coming a minute after Long’s goal. Brown’s Jack Kelly got a nice feed inside to Devon McLane for a quick stick finish from just outside the crease.
After five minutes of scoreless play, the Bears caught the Red late on its defensive rotations, getting an open look to go from 15 yards out. After the first penalty of the game was committed by freshman midfielder Charlie Box, Brown scored a man-up goal. Cornell’s six goal lead had quickly shrunk to three.
Looking to shut down the Brown comeback, the Red was able to score once more in the quarter. With less than a minute left, a blocked Cornell shot attempt was recovered by Kirst. The junior found a cutting Coyle on a feed pass, who got the running shot to go. The Red took a 13-9 lead into the final 15.
With an Ivy bid in its sights, Cornell anchored down on defense, pitching a shutout in the fourth quarter. The Red extended its lead to five with 12 minutes left in the game, as senior midfielder JJ Lombardi took a pass across the box from Kirst, stepped through traffic and went top shelf.
The nail in the coffin came with just under five minutes remaining. Senior attacker Brian Piatelli rotated from behind the net, beat his defender and finished on a bounce shot to extend the Red’s lead to six.
With the Bears pulling its goalie, Kirst completed the sock trick with an empty netter with just over a minute remaining. Cornell ran out the rest of the clock, beating the Bears, 16-9.
For the second week in a row, the Red found a way to win despite losing the face-off battle. Cornell’s defense continued to shine, forcing 10 turnovers among 20 total giveaways by the Bears.
The Red finishes the regular season at home next Saturday, April 29 against No. 20 Princeton. With the Tigers beating Harvard today, the game next weekend will decide the regular season Ivy champion. The game is set to start at noon and will be broadcast on ESPN+.