Saturday Recap: Cornell, Yale Win Thrillers to Help Settle Ivy League Tournament Field

(Photo Courtesy of Cornell Athletics)

The Cornell Big Red own a share of the 2022 Ivy League Men’s Lacrosse regular season title, along with Brown and Yale.

John Piatelli took the feed from Michael Long and put in his fifth goal of the day with just 39 seconds on the clock to put a little icing on the cake and officially seal the deal for the Big Red. That fifth and final goal from Piatelli capped off what was a strong effort from him on Saturday, but it was only part of the story on offense in the 18-15 victory over Princeton.

Michael Long had a hat trick and four assists for seven points while CJ Kirst had four goals. Piatelli also added an assist for a total of six points on the day.

All in all, the Cornell starting attack unit combined for 12 goals and 17 points in the win. Much of that production came during the first half of play as the Big Red caught fire and headed into the break with a commanding 12-5 lead.

The 7:42 mark in the first quarter is where Cornell, and their attack unit in particular, really found its groove. From that point through the remainder of the half, the Big Red outscored the Tigers 9-2. That included four unanswered scores courtesy of Long, Kirst, and Piatelli that helped start that half-ending run. Piatelli had two more in the second quarter to give himself a first-half hat trick, along with Kirst, and see that attack unit head into the locker room with eight of the Big Red’s 12 first-half scores.

Just as the Cornell offense went to work and made things look easy in the first half, their defense did much of the same. Cornell caused five of the Tigers’ nine first-half turnovers and helped hold them to just 11 shots. The Big Red also won the ground ball battle against Princeton 29-13 in those first two frames.

Additionally, Angelo Petrakis went 12-for-19 (63%) at the dot during the first half of play. That included an 83% mark (5-for-6) in the second quarter alone.

But just as fast as the Big Red jumped out to that sizable lead, Princeton was able to get back into the contest just as fast, if not faster, was a stellar showing in the third quarter.

After a Billy Coyle goal early in the third quarter extended the Cornell lead to 13-5, it was all Tigers for the remainder of the frame. An Alexander Vardaro score proved to be the first of a spurt of four consecutive scores, and the spark of what became an 8-2 Princeton run to end the third quarter of play.

Sam English (5G/1A) and Coulter Mackesy (5G/1A) especially caught fire during that third frame as the duo combined for five of Princeton’s eight third-quarter goals. That included a pair of consecutive Mackesy scores that helped pull the Tigers back within one, 14-13, with 1:14 left in the frame.

That third-quarter offensive effort was anchored and propelled by a 58% (7-for-12) mark at the dot from Tyler Sandavol in the frame, as well as a defensive effort that saw Erik Peters find his groove and make three saves while the unit out in front of the cage caused two turnovers.

While the Cornell offense found its footing again in the fourth quarter with Piatelli scoring two goals while Long had one, it was Chayse Ierlan who came up as the hero in that final frame for the Big Red. Facing a Princeton offense that took 13 shots (eight on cage) in the final frame, Ierlan stood on his head with six of his 10 saves coming in the final period to help keep the Princeton offense at bay and not let them tie it or take the lead. Additionally, Caleb Newman and Gavin Adler caused the only two turnovers in the fourth quarter. Adler ended the day with five caused turnovers and eight ground balls.

Cornell, as co-champions with Brown and Yale, will be the No. 2 seed in the Ivy League Tournament next week and will face Yale in the first round. Princeton is out of the conference tournament but could still get into the NCAA Tournament as an at-large selection.

Thomas Bragg Sends Yale Past Harvard in OT

On a Yale clear, Harvard’s Colin Bergstorm was called for a holding penalty and thus had to sit in the box for 30 seconds.

The Bulldogs subsequently called a timeout and out of that they were able to get off three shots. The first from Thomas Bragg went wide. The second from Leo Johnson sailed above the cage. But on the third one, Bragg found himself with all sorts of space up top and put in game-winner off the Kyle Zawadzki feed to secure the 17-16 victory in overtime.

Prior to that final Yale possession, Harvard had gotten the first settled possession of the overtime period as Chase Yager grabbed the ball out of the sky off a Brian Teviln turnover that came out of a ground ball scrum following the faceoff. Owen Gaffney had his shot sail wide and Sam King saw his stopped by Jared Paquette.

Playing the final 20-plus minutes without their starting goalie Kyle Mullin after he went down with an injury late in the third, the Crimson defense dug their heels in and were able to make multiple crucial stops to slow down the Yale offense late in the game. Harvard forced three of the Bulldogs’ five turnovers in the fourth quarter, which included a strip from Chase Yager with 36 seconds remaining that helped force overtime.

Hayden Cheek scored with just seconds left in the third quarter to make it a 12-12 game heading into the fourth, where an Owen Gaffney man-up goal and Joe Dowling scoring less than a minute later pushed Harvard ahead 14-12. Later in the quarter, Austin Madronic ripped one from the outside and Dowling beat his man before going five-goal. Those two scores helped keep the Crimson ahead by one as the Bulldogs offense began to settle back into form. They were also the last two scores of the game for Harvard.

Matt Brandau put an end to the three-goal Harvard run to make it a 14-13 game with 12:16 in regulation. Nicholas Ramsey took a faceoff win to the house with 9:01 to go and then less than a minute later another Ramsey faceoff win was turned into a Chris Lyons score to knot things all up at 15.

Leo Johnson scored the overtime-forcing goal with 1:56 remaining as he took a pass from Christian Cropp, moved above GLE, and stung one past Christian Barnard.

Each side got off one shot in that final minute-plus of play to try and win it in regulation, but both ended up being blocked.

The back-and-forth nature that highlighted the ending of this game was just a continuation of how things had gone since the opening whistle. Yale came out firing and took an early 4-0 lead before Harvard stormed back to make it a one-goal, 4-3, game heading into the second quarter. Yale held the lead the entire game until that Gaffeny man-up score early in the fourth, but the Crimson were never out of it as they remained within four the entire contest.

Chris Lyons led Yale with five goals while Brandau had six points off four goals and two assists. Bragg’s game-winner gave him a hat trick on the day. Jared Paquette made 12 saves and Nicholas Ramsey went 21-for-33 (63%) at the dot.

Joe Dowling (3G/1A) and Andrew Perry (2G/2A) each had four points to lead Harvard. Kyle Mullin made 10 saves during the time in which he played. Christian Barnard made two.

Yale, as co-champions with Brown and Cornell, will be the No. 3 seed in the Ivy League Tournament and will play Cornell in the first round. Harvard is out of the Ivy League tournament.

Brown Tops Dartmouth to Claim Ivy League Title

The Brown Bears share the Ivy League title with Cornell and Yale, but the Bears have earned the top seed and right to host the conference tournament.

On Saturday, the Bears defeated Dartmouth 15-6 to end the regular season on a five-game winnings streak.

Holding a 4-2 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Bears would soon break the game open. Behind a 16-for-23 (69%) performance at the dot from Matt Gunty, Brown was able to gain the possession advantage and capitalize. Following a Colin McGill goal that pulled the Big Green within one, 4-3, early in the first, Ryan Aughavin put home three consecutive goal to earn himself a natural hat trick and spark an eight-goal run to push the Bears ahead 12-3 by the end of the third.

It was a 4-4 fourth quarter, but a Big Green comeback was never in the works through those final three quarter and change.

Aughavin ended with four goals and one assist for five points as the leader of the Bears’ offense. Trevor Glavin had three goals and one assist for four points. Reed Moshyedi had four points off one goal and three assists.

Connor Theriault made eight saves in the 53:21 he played.

Hofstra Upsets Towson in Season Finale

The Hofstra Pride won’t be playing in this year’s CAA Tournament, but they certainly ended the season with some fireworks as they upset Towson at the buzzer on the road at Johnny Unitas Stadium.

Rory Jones put in his second goal of the day with less than a second remaining to finish this one out in regulation and secure the victory for the Pride.

Jones’ game-winner came following a Kyle Berkeley score with 41 seconds left that tied things up at 14 for Towson. It marked the third time the Tigers had tied the game in the fourth quarter. The first time saw Chop Gallagher put one home to cap a five-goal run that helped them tie things up after being down 12-7 entering the final frame.

Hofstra outscored Towson 7-4 in the first quarter and 9-5 in the first half as they got their offense going early and often. Towson finally settled in during the second half and outscored the Pride 10-6 in those final two frames. That included a 7-4 fourth quarter.

Hofstra was led by Dylan McIntosh with five goals and one assist for six points. Justin Sykes had four goals. Mac Gates made eight saves.

Towson was led by Nick DeMaio with six points off four goals and two assists. Kyle Berkeley (1G/3A) and James Avanzato (3G/1A) each had four points. Matt Constaninides went 19-for-32 at the dot and Shane Brennan made 11 saves in cage.

Towson will face UMass in the first round of the CAA Tournament.

Johns Hopkins, Ohio State Roll in Big Ten Quarterfinals

In the Big Ten Quarterfinals on Saturday the chalk held as the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays and Ohio State Buckeyes each pulled out wins against the lower-seeded teams to advance to the semifinals.

Johns Hopkins knocked off Penn State 16-8 in a performance that saw the Blue Jays have eleven different goal-scorers. Joey Epstein had a hat trick while Connor DeSimone (2G/2A) and Jonathan Peshko (2G/2A) each had four points.

Ohio State defeated Michigan 16-10. Reid Jackson had five goals to lead the way for the Buckeyes in the victory.

Other Scores

  • Air Force topped Bellarmine 9-7 to grab the No. 3 seed in the ASUN Tournament
  • Brett Dobson made 10 saves to help St. Bonaventure beat Canisius 13-12 and be co-MAAC Champions.
  • Mercer upset High Point 14-11 in a game that saw Ashton Wood go 74% at the dot in their season finale.
  • Jamison Intermesoli put in the game-winner in OT for Marist over Monmouth. Marist is co-MAAC champions with St. Bonaventure.
  • Tye Kurtz had six points (4G/2A) to help lead Delaware past Fairfield 14-12 and grab a share of the CAA title.

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