Cornell outlasts a game Princeton

Cornell University teammates celebrate after a goal in Cornell University teammates celebrate after a goal in the fourth period of an NCAA Division I men's lacrosse game versus Princeton at Bethpage on April 26, 2014 Photo Credit: James Escher

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They played pinball-style lacrosse Saturday -- the ball always seemed to be in play -- and Cornell did a better job operating its flippers.

The Big Red, playing before a large, vocal following that swelled to more than 4,500 at Howie Vogts Field, outlasted Princeton, 12-10, in the fourth Battle at Bethpage.

"That's the type of lacrosse we love to play," Cornell attack John Edmonds (Ward Melville) said after scoring three goals. "It was back and forth. There's no better way to play."

The third quarter was particularly active as the teams combined for 10 goals. Cornell (11-3) scored six of them to take an 11-10 lead. During one stretch, four goals were scored in 1:56. Edwards scored twice to tie it at 7 and the game was also tied at 8 and 9 before Connor Buczek and Matt Donovan gave Cornell an 11-9 lead.

Tucker Shanley led Princeton with four goals and Jake Froccaro (Port Washington) added a goal and an assist. Princeton's Tom Schreiber (St. Anthony's) converted from the right wing to make it a one-goal game entering the fourth quarter. That's when the goalies finally succeeded in slowing down the pace.

Eric Sanschagrin made three of his 13 saves for Princeton (7-6) in the final quarter, but really excelled in the first half as the Tigers led 6-5 at the break. Christian Knight saved the day for Cornell with six of his 16 saves in the final period, three from point-blank range.

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"He's remarkable for a freshman," Cornell coach Matt Kerwick said. "He's so composed. He doesn't get rattled."

Neither did the Big Red's faceoff specialist Doug Tesoriero (Syosset), who barely won his duel with Princeton's Justin Murphy, 14-12, but came up big during several key sequences earning two assists in transition off faceoff wins.

"Doug is amazing," Edmonds said. "He can spark our team."

A tactical change at halftime lit the scoring spark for Cornell. "We put two attacks on the crease. I was one of them," Edmonds said. "We put two middies on the wing and coach told us to attack the wings and find seams inside."

The final spark came with 8:29 left in the fourth when Cornell's Matt Donovan made a neat spin move to score for a 12-10 advantage that Knight made stand up. "We like to run. That's the way we play at Cornell," Kerwick said. "But it can get a little sloppy when we're aggressive and take chances. We have to savor the ball a little more."

The Big Red can savor a share of the Ivy League title with Harvard, but only until Friday, when the Crimson hosts the conference tournament as the No. 1 seed by virtue of its 11-10 victory over Yale Saturday and an early-season victory over Cornell that was the tiebreaker.

"We'd love to be playing in Ithaca," Edmonds said, "but we're excited to be going to Cambridge. We can't wait."

That's Cornell -- always in a hurry.

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