April 8, 2009

Courtesy of Cornell

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – It was a game that featured two of the top three offenses in the nation, but the No. 3 Cornell men’s lacrosse team was held well below its season average of nearly 14 goals per game as it was upset by No. 5 Syracuse, 15-10. The Big Red dropped to 7-2 with the loss, while the Orange improved to 8-2.

Freshman Rob Panell put up a fine showing in his first game at the Carrier Dome, posting a goal and four assists. Ryan Hurley added two goals and an assist, Pierce Derkac found the back of the net twice and both Max Seibald and John Glynn rounded out the multi-point scorers with a goal and an assist apiece. Glynn also won 15-of-25 face-offs and registered 10 ground balls, while Derkac’s two goals were a career high and were also the first by a Cornell long pole this year. In goal, Jake Myers made 10 saves in his first start of the season.

In was the first time in the last six meetings between the programs that the home team held serve, protecting its home field.

For the Orange, Kenny Nims had a pair of goals and matched Pannell’s four assists for six points to lead the offense. Both Stephen Keogh and Chris Daniello also recorded hat tricks, while Patrick Perritt (two goals, one assist) was credited with three points. John Galloway had 10 saves while playing the full 60 minutes between the pipes for SU. Overall, the defending national champions held the edge in shots (48-34), but the visitors owned advantages in face-offs (16-11), ground balls (33-28) and man-up goals (2-0).

The Orange used a prolonged first possession to get a goal by Chris Daniello at the 11:44 mark, but scored its second goal in transition when Matt Abbott carried the ball from the defensive end and beat Myers up high to make it a 2-0 game with 8:14 to play.

Cornell scored twice in a seven-second span to knot the game at 2-2. The Big Red’s first goal of the game came when Glynn won the ensuing face off and got the ball to Seibald as he ran through the substitution box. Seibald caught the ball in stride and then hit a wide-open Rocco Romero, who beat Galloway up high. The next goal was scored as Glynn won the faceoff, streaked upfield and sent a pass to Pierce Derkac, allowing the junior long-pole to score his first goal of the season.

Perritt retuned the lead to the home team, but Pannell had a hand in Cornell’s next two goals to give the Big Red its first lead of the day. The freshman attacker scored the first goal as he wrapped around the cage and beat Galloway low. He then set up the second tally as he lofted a pass over the top of the cage to Derkac, who one-timed it into the net.

Hardy tied the game once again at 4-4, but a great hustle play by Myers in the final moments of the quarter, backing up an errant shot by beating two SU players to the sideline, kept the score tied going into the first break.

Cornell opened the second stanza with the possession, thanks to a man-up opportunity, but a rocket of a shot by Seibald hit Galloway and danced on the goal line before rolling into the goalkeeper’s stick. The Orange got out in transition and Daniello managed to score on the other end to take back the 5-4 lead.

Myers managed three great saves over the next five minutes, but each time Cornell was unable to come up with the ball and eventually Scott Kahoe scored to make it a 6-4 game at the 9:24 mark. Nims then pushed the lead to 7-4 when his defender slipped and he rushed unabated to the goal to score at close range with just over six minutes to play in the second quarter.

Cornell registered its first man-up goal of the night when Hurley rescued an apparent turnover. After having the ball checked out of his stick while standing on the crease, he beat Galloway to it and then scored up high to make it a two-goal game.  

Keogh and Nims teamed up on another Orange goal in the waning seconds of the half to send the home team into the intermission with the 8-5 lead.

After a turnover in the offensive end to begin the third quarter, Cornell got two solid saves from Myers and then forced a turnover to end an extended Orange possession. The Big Red couldn’t capitalize, however, and SU got three straight goals by Greg Niewieroski, Keogh and Jovan Miller to make it an 11-5 game at the 7:19 mark.

Cornell got the three goals back with a run of its own over a span of two minutes late in the quarter. A quick restart off an SU offsides call gave the Big Red its first goal of the quarter as Pannell found George Calvert all alone in front of the goal. Less than one minute later, Pannell threaded a pass to Austin Boykin, who converted on the doorstep. Pannell had the assist on the final goal as well, as he sent a pass to Hurly, who rolled around the crease and beat Galloway low to make it an 11-8 game.

Syracuse won the restart and Perritt scored with just 17 seconds left in the stanza to give SU the 12-8 lead heading into the final intermission.

The Big Red scored just 17 seconds into the final quarter as Mitch McMichael found Glynn, who beat Galloway low to make it a three-goal game. A huge save by Myers sent Cornell into its transition offense, and after an initial miss, Hurley sent a pass to Seibald, who ripped a shot into the back of the net to make it 12-10 with 13:40 to play.

Daniello ended the Big Red run when he tucked a shot under the crossbar and Keogh made it a 14-10 game when he scored on the doorstop. After a save by Galloway gave possession back to SU, the Orange managed to run more than four minutes off the clock before Nims scored to push the lead to 15-10.

Cornell got several opportunities to score as the clock ran down, but weren’t able to find the back of the net, as the Orange took the 15-10 victory.

The Big Red is back in action this weekend as it travels to Hanover, N.H., to take on Ivy League foe Dartmouth on Saturday, April 11 at 7 p.m.