March 17, 2012

Cornell Puts Clamps on Yale in Ivy League Opener

from press release

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Senior Roy Lang's goal with just over five minutes to play gave No. 4/3 Cornell an 8-7 win over Yale on Saturday afternoon at Schoellkopf Field. The Big Red improved to 4-1 (1-0 Ivy), while the Bulldogs slipped to 2-3 (0-1 Ivy) in the Ivy League opener for both teams.

Sophomore goalkeeper Andrew West made a career-high 13 saves to lead a Big Red defensive effort that saw just three goals allowed over the final 45 minutes to rally from a two-goal deficit in the first half. Cornell limited Yale to 1-of-6 on the extra man in a game that featured 14 minutes of penalties between the two squads. Cornell forced 16 Yale turnovers with Mike Bronzino, Tom Freshour and Jason Noble each causing two.

Chris Langton had two goals and an assist, Max Van Bourgondien notched a goal and two helpers and JJ Gilbane and Connor English each scored twice to lead the Big Red offense. Thomas Keith won five ground balls to lead the team, while Noble won four and Steve Mock claimed three.

Matt Gibson led Yale with two goals and two assists, while Conrad Overbeck notched two goals and an assists and Brandon Mangan tallied a pair of goals. The tandem of Dylan Levings (6-of-9) and Cole Yeager (5-of-8) combined to win 11-of-17 face-offs to repeatedly give Yale possessions, particularly in the first quarter when the Bulldogs won six of the first seven restarts.

In all, Yale had narrow edges in shots (33-30) and ground balls (24-23), but couldn't find a way to snap a losing streak against Cornell that dates all the way back to 1999, now sitting at 14 games.

In a game of attrition, Cornell did just enough to hold on. Lang's score with 5:17 left off a great dodge snuck into the top righthand corner, over the shoulder of Yale's Jack Meyer, who had six saves. Yale won the ensuing face-off and had its best chance with two and a half minutes left, after a patient offensive set, when Oberbeck's shot hit the pipe and bounced away, with Noble winning the ground ball. A 30 second penalty on Yale allowed the Big Red to get the time to nearly a minute to play while trying to salt away with victory. The Bulldogs caused a pair of Big Red turnovers in the final 45 seconds, but only were able to get one shot off and that didn't go on goal.

Cornell scored just 1:26 into regulation when Langton found Gilbane, but Yale quickly answered. English scored his first goal of the contest six minutes in to give Cornell a 2-1 lead, but again the Bulldogs countered. This time the visitors went on a 3-0 run to double up the Big Red at 4-2 heading into the first intermission. Overbeck had a goal and an assist during the run.

A non-releasable illegal stick penalty gave three minutes of extra-man action to the Big Red to start the second, but Cornell couldn't capitalize. Meyer made two of his six saves on the day during that span to keep the Big Red off the scoreboard, with his second giving Yale possession to kill the penalty. Not long after the penalty expired, English capitalized on a tired Bulldog defense to make it 4-3, and 32 seconds later Van Bourgondien equalized after a Yale penalty on the goal to tie it at 4-4.

The lead would trade hands back and forth the rest of the way, with Yale going up 5-4, then Cornell answering with a pair to go up 6-5 after halftime. Yale tied the contest at 6-6 and again at 7-7 with Overbeck knotting the score with 5:49 left on the clock. Doug Tesoriero won the ensuing face-off cleanly to himself and raced it up the field, taking a wide shot that was backed up. Cornell sent the pass into Lang, who dodged two defenders, spun and drilled a rocket shot that proved to be the game winner.

Cornell will head to Hempstead, N.Y. to face No. 9/9 Denver on Tuesday, March 20 at 4 p.m. at Hofstra's James M. Shuart Stadium.


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