April 7, 2012

No. 5 Cornell Rides Balanced Scoring Past Harvard

from press release

ITHACA, N.Y. – Eleven different players scored a goal and birthday boy Roy Lang was dominant in the midfield to lead No. 5 Cornell to a 14-10 victory over Harvard on Saturday afternoon at Schoellkopf Field. The Big Red improved to 8-1 (4-0 Ivy) with the victory, while the Crimson dropped to 5-5 (2-1 Ivy).

Lang was a dominant force on both sides of the field and especially between the restraining lines. He ended was a game-high five points (three goals and two assists) while winning four ground balls, causing two turnovers and spearheading a clearing game that was a near-perfect 22-of-23 on the day.

Besides Lang, three other Big Red players had multi-point efforts. Matt Donovan had two goals and an assist, while both JJ Gilbane and Max Van Bourgondien each were credited with a goal and an assist. Thomas Keith won six ground balls and scored a goal with the pole, while Doug Tesoriero was 11-of-20 on face-offs. The rest of the squad went 1-for-8 as Harvard controlled the X by a small margin, taking 16-of-28 re-starts.

Andrew West made eight saves in goal for the Big Red in anchoring a defense that surrendered just one goal in the first 31:12. Mike Bronzino and Jason Noble each had a pair of caused turnovers as Cornell had nine total as a team.

The Big Red held a 42-32 advantage in shots, while ground balls were even at 34-34. Cornell capitalized on the team's only extra-man opportunity.

Both Ryan Stevens and Jeff Cohen had three goal and an assist and Jack Breit had a goal and an assist to go along with his four ground balls. Keegan Michel was 15-of-26 on the face-off X and won five ground balls, while Stephen Jahelka won seven possessions on ground balls.

Cornell went into the halftime with a comfortable 6-1 lead thanks to five straight Big Red goals. The game had a much different feel after the break, as the teams combined for 17 scores, but the Crimson weren't able to get closer than three goals the rest of the way despite giving the home team some anxious moments.

After six minutes of full-field action, the Big Red defense forced a turnover and Lang cleared it himself. The senior found a wide-open Keith in front of the goal. The long pole cleanly caught the pass and shoveled it past Gambitsky to make it 1-0. The Crimson knotted the score just under two minutes later later after winning the face-off. Harvard controlled possession until Cohen found Ryan Stevens in front of the cage for an easy 6-yard shot.

Harvard again won the face-off, but after the Big Red caused a turnover, Lang took home a long pass, streaked in from the restraining line and buried a shot to put the home team back in the lead.

Early in the second quarter, Cornell had an opportunity with the goalkeeper out of the net, but Gilbane's shot was saved by a Harvard defender who jumped into the crease. It didn't matter, as Donovan was able to beat a man around the crease and finished to make it 3-1 just moments later. It was 4-1 just 1:20 later when Mitch McMichael cashed in on the team's first man-up situation, firing in a rocket after Donovan found him on a cross-field pass.

Gambitsky made an impressive kick save to stuff Mock a 1-on-1 fastbreak, but after winning the race to the end line, Lang struck again. He took two hits and shrugged both off, finishing with his right hand from 8-yards out with a rocket over the Crimson keeper's shoulder. Cornell continued to build the lead when Van Bourgondien found Gilbane for another short range shot to push it to 6-1. Neither team would be able to convert in the final five minutes of the half.

The teams traded goals early in the second half, with the Big Red extending the lead to six at 9-3 when Lang completed the hat trick. Harvard answered back just 15 seconds later to begin a three-goal run for the visitors to get back in the game. Cohen scored his third of the night 42 seconds into the fourth to make it 9-6, but that was as close as Harvard would get. The Crimson again cut the deficit to three at 11-8 and 12-9, but Cornell scored three times in the final 3:02 to put the game away.

Cornell returns to action when it steps out of conference play to host Syracuse on Tuesday, April 10 at 7 p.m. at Schoellkopf Field.


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