Lang's Four Goals Lead No. 12 Cornell to Win at Binghamton

ITHACA, N.Y. Kelly Lang came off the bench to score a career-high three goals in the first half, added a fourth in the second half, and No. 13 Cornell rolled to a 17-8 win at Binghamton in the teams' first-ever meeting Tuesday afternoon.

The Big Red controlled the first half, outshooting the home team 19-9 and picking up 10 ground balls to the Bearcats' two. Binghamton also turned the ball over 11 times in the first 30 minutes, and those advantages combined to give Cornell a 10-4 lead at the half.

The second half was much of the same, and when the final whistle blew, Lang led Cornell with four goals. Caroline Salisbury had three goals and an assist, and Jessi Steinberg, Katie Kirk and Lindsay Toppe had two goals and an assist.

"If you put your first shot in the back of the net, it is a confidence booster," said Lang, who had never scored more than one goal in a game in her Cornell career. "It's just like a goalie. If she stops the first shot, then she gets hot. When the goalie's getting hot, it's hard to score goals. It's the same thing for attack. You get your confidence up, and you keep shooting."

Though Courtney Gallagher got her third career start in goal, freshman Carly Gniewek played the majority of the contest and earned her first career victory. She made three saves, all in the second half, in her 45 minutes of playing time.

Cornell (10-4) is now 1-0 lifetime against the Bearcats (3-12) and earned 10 wins in a season for the first time since 2008. Out of conference, the Big Red's improved to 6-2 and remains perfect at 6-0 in true road games.

"Some people stepped up," coach Jenny Graap said. "Notably, Kelly Lang had a great game. She looked really strong. I'm really happy that Lindsay Toppe got in there for a couple nice goals. A lot of people were represented in the offense."

Cornell got on the board just 1:21 into the game. After feeling out the Bearcats defense with multiple passes and feints, Steinberg got the ball behind the net and found an open Sarah Hefner in front for an easy goal. Just 50 seconds later, though, Binghamton got the game tied on a shot by Emma Hayes-Hurley.

Cacki Helmer got ground balls on both of Binghamton's next two possessions, but it was Beth Halayko's ground ball that gave the Big Red its next goal. Picking up a bad Binghamton pass, Halayko launched the ball to a wide open Salisbury, who had nothing but grass in front of her and beat Binghamton goalkeeper Kara Pafumi low and right. Halayko's ground ball was one of her four in the first half. Helmer led the team with five ground balls and five caused turnovers.

"Cacki Helmer continues to shine," Graap said. "She handles a tough markup, and she's getting ground balls and caused turnovers. She was absolutely a standout for us in the backfield."

The Big Red took a 3-1 lead a minute later when Steinberg, behind the net, received a pass from Shannon McHugh. Steinberg wrapped around the net and got a shot past Pafumi high and short side. Lang got her day started and made it 4-1 just 31 seconds later, and the rout was on. McHugh got a goal of her own immediately off the next draw control, and the Big Red's advantage was quickly stretched to 5-1.

A Bearcats free position shot cut the lead to three, but Cornell got it back up to four after Gallagher made her first save of the afternoon. A speedy clear by Ali O'Neil gave Cornell possession in the offensive end, and Salisbury eventually found Amanda D'Amico in front of the net from the right side for the goal.

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2012-04-24



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