No. 4 Cornell Holds off Colgate for Best Start Since 2007

HAMILTON – Colgate competed with third-ranked Cornell here Tuesday but couldn't quite finish the job in a 15-10 loss. The setback snaps a four-game winning streak for the 18th-ranked Raiders, who fell to 6-2 for the season. Cornell improved to 7-0.

“They're a really good team,” Colgate head coach Mike Murphy said of the Big Red. “Any time you play a good team you've got to play at your best, and we didn't do that today. We were a little impatient in the clearing game and gave them a couple of opportunities for second chances.

“Any time you play a team like Cornell and give them second chances, a lot of times the ball's going to end up in the back of the net. And it did today.”

Colgate trailed 6-3 at the half and fell behind 10-4 past the midway point of the third quarter. But the Raiders scored four straight and five of the next six goals to pull within 11-9 early in the fourth.

Cornell, however, rode the fifth goal of the game by Dan Lintner and the fourth by Connor Buczek to seize momentum once again and remain undefeated. Lintner is the Big Red's scoring leader with 25 goals and 26 points.

“At one point we were down 10-4 and we did a good job of trying to scratch and claw our way back, so I'm proud of our guys' effort,” Murphy said. “We won some faceoffs, we hit a couple in transition, so that was good.

“A lot of the credit goes to Cornell because they did what they needed to do, but we gave them too many second opportunities. We've got to be a team that doesn't beat itself.”

Brendon McCann was Colgate's offensive leader, recording his first hat trick of the season and seventh of his career. The Warrenton, Va., senior found the net in the first and then had consecutive goals to spark the third-quarter rally.

McCann is third on the team with 10 goals and second in points with 17.

Ryan Walsh and Kevin Adams added two goals apiece to maintain the team goals lead. Walsh has 18 for the year and scored points Tuesday in his 41st consecutive game – fourth-longest streak in the country. Adams now has 15 goals.

Other Colgate goals went to Matt Clarkson, Eric Foote and Justin Kirchner. Foote now has eight goals for the season, Clarkson six and Kirchner has three in the last two games. McCann, Walsh, Clarkson, Foote and Tyler Rigo recorded assists.

Defensively, Leo Stouros and Chandler Millstone picked up three ground balls, while McCann had four and Alex Kinnealey posted six in the faceoff-X. Three Raiders shared faceoff duties: Kinnealey was 9 of 19, Peter Marchetto 2 of 6 and Kevin Boyle 2 of 2. Brandon Burke posted 10 saves against 25 shots on goal.

Colgate outshot Cornell 32-31, while ground balls were 32-28 in the visiting team's favor. Faceoffs went back and forth all day, with Cornell finishing with a 14-13 edge thanks to a 10-6 advantage in the second half.

Clears were 19 of 21 for Colgate and 14 of 16 for Cornell. The Big Red's extra-man unit finished 2 of 3, while Colgate was 1 of 6. Saves were 11-10 Cornell, and turnovers were 15-12 Cornell.

“What it comes down to is you have to be able to play complementary lacrosse,” Murphy said. “At times we would play really good defense, and then we would rush the ball on offense. Or we would score a goal, and then miss an assignment on defense.

“Any time you play a team like Cornell, you've got to be able to take care of your own business.”

Today's game came right at the midpoint of the 2014 season, with Colgate facing a stretch of five Patriot League games over the next five weekends. Murphy recognized that his team tested its wares against such a powerful opponent before returning to conference play.

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