No. 12 Cornell Knocks off Brown in Regular-Season Finale

PROVIDENCE, R.I. With a berth in the Ivy League Tournament already clinched earlier in the week, it would have been easy for Big Red to overlook Brown on Saturday and instead look ahead to next weekend's postseason.

That didn't happen, though, as the Big Red roared out to a 6-1 lead early in the game and powered through to a 16-8 win over the Bears at Stevenson Field on Saturday afternoon.

"We had some games with Yale and Binghamton where we didn't always bring 60 minutes of energy and intensity, and we looked at this game today as one where we wanted to show our consistent effort and the passion that we have to play lacrosse," Cornell head coach Jenny Graap said. "The goal for today was to not take an opponent lightly in the Ivy League, but also to be thinking about Cornell lacrosse and what we want it to represent."

Senior midfielder Katie Kirk had a first-half hat trick to lead Cornell, eight other players scored in the first half alone, Caroline Salisbury and Shannon McHugh had hat tricks as well, and freshman Carly Gniewek made eight second-half saves in net.

"We trust everybody," Kirk said of the varied offense. "There's no go-to player. It's not like a high school or college team that has that one all-star player. Granted, we have players like that, but we trust everybody else to step up as well."

Cornell (11-4, 5-2 Ivy League) finishes out its regular season tied for second in the Ivy League and will be the No. 3 seed in next weekend's Ivy League Tournament. The Big Red will face second-seeded Dartmouth in the tournament, which will be played at top seed Penn. Brown (6-8, 1-6) saw its season come to an end Saturday.

The win for Cornell was its 13th consecutive victory against the Bears dating back to 2000. Cornell is 7-0 in true road games in 2012, and the Big Red eclipsed 10 wins for the first time since 2006.

Brown scored the game's first goal less than a minute in, but Shannon McHugh won the ensuing draw control and set up Cornell for its first offensive possession. A pass to Katie Kirk resulted in the senior getting fouled inside the fan, and Kirk took advantage of a free position opportunity by going to the top right corned to tie the game at 1-1 and start a 6-0 run.

After Cornell turned the ball over on its next three positions, the team took advantage of another free position shot, again by Kirk. Sneaking in from the left side all alone, Brown had no choice but to commit a shooting space violation. Kirk again made the Bears pay, beating goalie Isabel Harvey after making a couple fakes on the free position attempt.

Less than a minute later, Amanda D'Amico made it 3-1 when she took a pass from Chelsea Rowe. Rowe got fouled on her way out of bounds, and she restarted play by leading a pass to an open D'Amico in the offensive zone. D'Amico charged right at the net and scored her 14th goal of the year.

Chelsea Rowe, playing in her first contest in nearly two weeks, got the fourth Cornell goal on a nice cutting move. Kirk found Rowe slashing toward the cage, and Rowe made her first shot of the day count. The goal, her eighth of the year, was her first since April 14.

Kirk completed her had trick just 17 minutes into the game in a man-up situation. Jessi Steinberg had the ball set up behind the net, and a cutting Kirk shot immediately after receiving a pass. The shot went high and just under the crossbar, making it a 5-1 advantage for the Big Red.

"We really looking to move the ball against them, and I think we did that well," Kirk said. "We looked mainly for the open person, and I was in the right spot at the right time."

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2012-04-28



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