Sports

Big Red topple men’s lacrosse with second-half rout

Molloy ’17 breaks two-game scoreless streak with hat trick, but can’t get Bears second Ivy win

By
Senior Staff Writer
Monday, April 21, 2014

Despite a reasonably tight final scoreline of 14-9, the men’s lacrosse team suffered a trouncing at the hands of the Big Red Saturday.

Cornell led by as many as nine goals on its home field late in the fourth quarter before it subbed in most of its bench players and the Bears scored a slew of garbage-time goals. With the final whistle, Bruno was officially eliminated from playoff contention.

Bruno (6-6, 1-4 Ivy) came out of the gates aggressively, retaining possession for a couple minutes before opening the scoring. Dylan Molloy ’17 recovered the ball behind the net after an errant shot, beat his defender and fired a missile into the top corner of the cage to give Bruno the lead five minutes into the game.

In the ensuing faceoff, Cornell’s Doug Tesoriero beat Tommy Capone ’14 and raced down the field with the ball. He dumped a quick pass to Matt Donovan, who ripped a sidearm shot past Jack Kelly ’16 to tie the game just six seconds after Molloy’s goal.

The Big Red (10-3, 4-1) netted two more goals later in the quarter to take a 3-1 lead at the end of the first. Tesoriero won four of the five faceoffs he participated in, allowing Cornell to score and quickly go back on the offensive. The Bears managed to uncork 10 shots on goal, but Christian Knight made four saves to hold Bruno to just the single goal.

The second period began with another Big Red goal, this time in a man-up situation. Cornell stretched the Bears’ defense by moving the ball around the edges of the field until the defensive scheme broke down and left Cornell’s Dan Lintner, the league’s leading goal scorer, wide open in front of goal. Lintner received the ball and pushed a shot past Kelly to bump the lead to three.

The Bears came right back, as Molloy scored his second goal of the game just a minute later. He started from a position nearly identical to that of his first goal and ran straight at his defender, who tried to keep Molloy from rolling outside. The first-year attackman hit the defender with a spin move and shoveled a shot past Knight to bring the Bears within two.

Lintner responded four minutes later, slotting a shot past Kelly for the second time on the afternoon. The halftime whistle blew with Cornell leading 5-2. Most of the first-half statistics — besides the main one — would have suggested that the Bears had been dominant. They outshot Cornell 23-12, committed eight fewer turnovers and forced Knight to make 10 saves in the half. But the Big Red converted their opportunities and led at the half as a result.

In the third quarter, Cornell busted the game wide open. It started with a goal from Joe Paoletta off a sloppy clear by Bruno’s defense. A minute later, Kelly scrambled out of his goal to chase a loose ball. A Cornell player beat him to it, swung the ball to Connor Entenmann, who promptly placed the ball in the empty net. Three minutes after that, Sean Doyle collected a rebound off a Kelly save and pushed the ball past the diving netminder. Just like that, Cornell led 8-2.

Molloy completed his hat trick a few minutes later, but Cornell responded with two more scores, both by Donovan. The Big Red outscored Bruno 5-1 in the third frame and led 10-3 with another full quarter to play.

In the fourth, Cornell once again bested Bruno’s defense multiple times, scoring four goals in the first 10 minutes compared to just two for the Bears. Cornell then emptied its bench to rest some of its starters, allowing Brown to net four goals in the dying minutes of the game. But the Big Red lead was sufficiently large to hold off Bruno’s last effort.

Two of the numerous goals scored by the Big Red came just seconds after a previous goal. Throughout the game, Tesoriero beat whomever Bruno sent out to compete in faceoffs. He won 15 of 22 faceoffs and was often able to push the ball past the Bears’ faceoff specialist, creating a one-man fast break. Winning faceoffs and, more importantly, containing an opponent’s faceoff specialist will be key for the Bears’ success in future games.

Bruno has two contests remaining on its schedule — a showdown against Bryant University (11-3, 4-1 NEC) for the Ocean State Cup Tuesday, followed by a game that bears no significance for the Ivy League postseason against Dartmouth (1-9, 0-5) Saturday.