No. 2 Cornell Upended by Harvard's Third-Quarter Run

ITHACA, N.Y. – The No.2 Big Red men's lacrosse team saw its 16-game winning-streak vs. Harvard come to an end this afternoon, as the Crimson defeated Cornell, 14-9, on Schoellkopf Field.

The loss is the first of the season for the Big Red (9-1, 3-1 Ivy), which had been the last undefeated team remaining in NCAA Division I, while Harvard improves to 6-4 overall and remains a perfect 3-0 in the Ivy League with its first win over the Big Red since the 1998 season.

Cornell jumped out to a 4-1 lead midway through the first quarter, but saw the Crimson chip away before eventually knotting the game at 6-6 prior to halftime. The visitors pulled away in the second half when long Harvard possessions wore down the Big Red defense and kept the ball away from one the most proficient offenses in the nation.

“We came out playing great,” said interim head coach Matt Kerwick. “I thought we were well prepared. Really, all the credit goes to Harvard. They were extremely efficient on offense, using long possessions to find the best shot. Then they controlled the face-off with their wing play. We played a lot of defense in that game and you just can't put that much pressure on your defense when you're playing a talented team like Harvard. But we'll learn from it and get better and move onto the next game.”

Midfielders John Hogann (three goals, two assists) and Joe Paoletta (two goals, one assist) led the offense, while attackman John Edmonds was the only other multi-point scorer with one goal and one assist. Dan Lintner, Connor Entenmann and Mike O'Neil each added one goal apiece.

Harvard was led by Will Walker (four goals, on assist) and Deke Burns (three goals, two assists), who registered five points apiece. Devin Dwyer finished with one goal and three assists, and Cal Zimmer chipped in two goals and one assist as eight Crimson players finished with at least one point.

The visitors most important player of the day, however was Ithaca native Gabe Mendola, who won 20 of 26 face-offs and picked up 10 ground balls to tilt the time of possession heavily in Harvard's favor.

For the first time all season, Cornell was outshot (38-21) and had less ground balls than its opponent (34-30). The Crimson posted one more turnover (16-15) and was held to a 1 of 6 performance on man-up chances, while the Big Red converted 2 of 3 opportunities.

Cornell freshman goalie Christian Knight was outstanding with 14 saves, many of which were from point-blank range, while Harvard's Jake Gambitsky stopped eight, four of which came during the crucial first quarter to keep the visitors in the contest.

The Big Red has a quick turnaround as it plays host to No. 10 Syracuse at Schoellkopf Field on Tuesday, April 8 at 7:00 p.m.

* * * *

ITHACA, N.Y. – Harvard scored six goals in the third quarter to pull away for a 14-9 win at No. 2 Cornell Saturday afternoon and take sole possession of first place in the Ivy League.

Will Walker and Carl Zimmerman each tallied two goals during the run after the teams were deadlocked at halftime, 6-6. Walker finished the day with four goals and one assist to match his career-high of five points, with Deke Burns also matching his personal best of five points on three goals and two assists. Devin Dwyer added one goal and three assists.

Harvard remains unbeaten in the Ivy League with the win and now holds a half-game lead over Cornell in the standings. The Crimson owns a two-game advantage on Penn, Princeton and Yale in the loss column, and can clinch a spot in the Ivy League tournament with one victory in its final three conference games.

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