Pannell aims for record
Cornell senior Pannell inches closer to all-time NCAA mark
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- One Cornell student-athlete, wrestler Kyle Dake, finished a record-breaking career in March with his fourth NCAA title at a fourth different weight class. Another who wears the red of Cornell, lacrosse star Rob Pannell, will try to wrestle the “big man on campus” title away from Dake this weekend in Philadelphia.
Pannell will lead Cornell against Duke on Saturday afternoon in one of two NCAA Division I Lacrosse Championship semifinals at Lincoln Financial Field. With seven points, he will set the all-time NCAA career points record, passing Duke’s Matt Danowski, who scored 253 from 2004-08. This season Pannell has scored 42 goals and dished out 53 assists for 95 points. Only twice this season has he recorded fewer than two goals. Seven times he has totaled at least six points in a game.
In last weekend’s quarterfinal victory against Ohio State, Pannell scored two goals and registered six assists. In the first round, a win against Maryland, the attacker scored four goals and had three assists.
“I try to keep my mind off it, but it is what it is,” Pannell said. “It’s a pretty big record, a pretty big deal.
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about it, but come game day, once the game starts, it will be the last thing on my mind. If we’re playing well and if we’re in a good position to win, most likely I’ll be playing well as well.”
Cornell head coach Ben DeLuca describes Pannell as one of those players who “come along once a generation.”
Pannell admits that winning a national championship is at the top of his list. Records are great, but helping the Big Red hoist the team trophy on Monday is priority No. 1. Most of the lacrosse nation figured that out when, after a season-ending injury last year, Pannell did not join the professional ranks in lacrosse or in finance.
“I would give it all up for a ring,” Pannell told the New York Times.
He added to his already full trophy case this week when he was named – for the second time – the USILA’s Player of the Year, joining four others in the history of lacrosse to win twice.
Pannell is also a three-time All-American, two-time Tewaaraton Trophy finalist and the first player in the history of the Ivy League to be named Player of the Year three times (2010, 2011, and 2013).
Seven points and a national championship might just give a Cornell lacrosse player the “Big Man on Campus” crown all by himself.