#3 Cornell Upset by #10 UMass in NCAA First Round

ITHACA, N.Y. - In a game that saw six ties and sloppy play by both teams, a late goal by the University of Massachusetts' Andrew Recchione gave the No. 10 Minutemen a 10-9 upset victory over No. 3 Cornell in the opening round of the 2006 NCAA men's lacrosse tournament on Saturday afternoon at Schoellkopf Field. Recchione would score from the left wing off a pass from Clay Stabert to put UMass up, 10-9 with 2:34 to play. Despite having the ball for the final minute of the contest, the Big Red could not get a quality shot on goal to send the game into overtime. The Minutemen improve to 11-4 on the season and will face the winner of the Hofstra/Providence game tomorrow at 3:30 p.m.

UMass' Sean Morris registered a game-high five points off two goals and one assist, but the Ivy League Rookie of the Year, Max Seibald (Hewlett, N.Y.) was close behind with four points for the Big Red off two goals, both of which came late in the game, and two assists. Junior David Mitchell (Moose Jaw, Sask.) was Cornell's only other multi-point scorer, as he tallied a game-high three goals.

Recchione's game-winner was his second tally of the day and Stabert added a goal and an assist for the Minutemen. Between the pipes, junior Matt McMonagle (Bryn Mar, Pa.) made seven saves in loss, while Doc Schneider stopped 10 to get the victory.

Mitchell got the Big Red on the board first, running from the right sideline to the center of the field, and ripping a low shot that bounced past Schneider. In a battle of Tewaaraton Trophy nominees, senior Joe Boulukos (Huntington, N.Y.) made it 2-0, despite having Jack Reid on his shoulder, as he took a feed from Mitchell and found the back of the net with 9:48 to go in the opening stanza.

Cornell would convert its first and only of four extra-man opportunities in the game, getting its third-straight goal when Mitchell converted from close range off a pass from Seibald. The Minutemen would claw their way back in to the contest, getting back-to-back goals two minutes apart on nearly identical plays to cut the home team's lead to one goal. The first would come from Morris, while the second was off the stick of Jimmy Connolly. On both plays, the UMass player ran from behind the right side of the cage, and then rolled back to his left, slipping past his defender to take a point-blank shot on goal.

UMass would tie the score midway through the second period as Pat Larmon would score off a pass from Morris to knot the game at three each with 8:55 to go before the break. Senior Derek Haswell (Skaneateles, N.Y.) would give Cornell back the lead just over one minute later when he slipped his man and scored on a high shot from just outside the crease.

The score was short-lived, however, as Recchione would get a pass from Rory Pedrick directly in front of the cage, and one-timed it into the back of the net, making it 4-4 with 6:45 to go in the half. Despite outshooting the Minutemen 23-14 in the first half, including a last second rocket shot from junior Casey Lewis (Clifton Park, N.Y.) that was saved by Schneider, the teams went into the locker room deadlocked at the intermission at four goals apiece.

Morris would break the tie with a goal just 1:19 into the third period when he muscled his way to just outside the crease and scored from 4-yards out. Cornell nearly tied the game just two minutes later when a shot by Boulukos hit the cross bar and looked as though it had broken the plane, but was not ruled a goal by the officials.

On UMass next trip down the field, a point-blank shot by Connolly was kick saved by McMonagle to keep the home team within striking distance. McMonagle would come up with another brilliant save on yet another shot by Connolly when the attackman found himself all alone directly in front of the crease and faked low, then tried to go high, only to find the junior netminders stick. Just 41 seconds later, Lewis would reward McMonagle for his efforts by knotting the game at 5-5 with 7:09 to play in the third quarter.

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