After closing out the season on a somewhat sour note with a two-game loss streak to Brown and Princeton, Cornell looked to make up ground heading into the Ivy League Tournament against Yale on Friday, May 4. However, the odds were not in the Red’s favor, as the Bulldogs (11-4, 4-2 Ivy League) pulled away with a 14-10 victory, marking the first time that Yale has beaten Cornell (9-4, 4-2) in the past teams’ past 15 matchups. The win allowed Yale to advance to Sunday’s final, where the Bulldogs proceeded to win the tournament and claim the NCAA tournament’s automatic bid — an opportunity that Cornell narrowly missed this season.
During Friday’s game, Yale burst out of the gates in the first quarter, scoring five goals in the first 10 minutes of play, setting the tone for the rest of the game with a lofty 5-0 lead. However, the Red was able to put away two goals before the close of the frame, as junior attack Steve Mock and senior midfielder Chris Langton found brief openings in the Bulldogs’ defense.
Yale dominated the next 30 minutes of play, notching seven goals and limiting the Red to just two. Langton notched his second point of the day, as fellow senior midfielder Roy Lang made contact on his first. While the game was an even matchup along the measures of shots on goal, ground balls and face-offs, Yale maintained an edge throughout the contest.
It looked like the Bulldogs were ready to seal the deal in the fourth and final frame when Ryan McCarthy sent a rocket home at 1:13 into the quarter; however, the Red rallied late in the game and began to stage a comeback. Sophomore midfielder Mike O’Neil kicked off what would be a six-goal run for the Red at 3:56 into the frame. Senior midfielders J.J. Gilbane and Scott Austin, junior attack Connor English, freshman attack Jack Molloy and Mock combined to bring the Red within four points of the Bulldogs; however, the late rally in the fourth quarter was not enough to surpass the Ivy League Tournament champions.
While the decisive first half set the tone of the contest, the Red saw strong efforts by sophomore netminder Andrew West, who came off the bench in the second half to make eight saves, allowing only five goals, after Cornell allowed nine goals in the first half. Sophomore midfielder Doug Tesoriero (6-of-11) combined efforts with senior defender Matt Restaino (7-of-12) to win 13-of-23 face-offs against one of the league’s best face-off units.