Cornell downs Orange, 12-6

Cornell downs Orange, 12-6

#5 Cornell (9-1) defeated #13 Syracuse (5-5) on Tuesday, April 10 at Schoellkopf Field, 12-6.
ITHACA, N.Y. – With the score tied 3-3 at halftime, No. 5 Cornell (9-1) came out of the break with five third-quarter goals and added four in the fourth to defeat No. 13 Syracuse (5-5) on Tuesday, April 10 at Schoellkopf Field, 12-6.

Senior Tommy Palasek led the Orange with one goal and two assists. Senior Bobby Eilers and sophomore Derek Maltz each scored twice for Syracuse, while Cornell’s Max Van Bourgondien and Roy Lang scored four and three goals, respectively. Van Bourgondien added an assist to finish with a game-high five points.

Freshman goalie Bobby Wardwell earned the starting nod between the pipes for the Orange for the second straight game. He was tested early and often, recording 12 saves to help Syracuse stay within striking distance for most of the night. Even with Cornell holding the advantage in nearly every statistical category, including shots (46-24), ground balls (39-23) and faceoffs (14-8), the game was tied, 3-3, at the half and SU was within three (9-6) midway through the fourth quarter.

"I think they (Cornell) are a group that's playing pretty well," SU head coach John Desko said. "They have good players. They hustle. I thought they're goalie (Andrew West) played well in the first half tonight. We just couldn't get the ball on offense to get enough opportunities to get back in the game."

The Big Red controlled the pace of play Tuesday with several long possessions. Two of those lengthy offensive opportunities helped stake the Big Red to a 2-0 lead less than five minutes into the contest on goals by Lang and Van Bourgondien.

After Wardwell made a huge save on Mike O’Neil to keep the deficit at two, junior JoJo Marasco put the Orange on the board by collecting a loose ball off a shot by Eilers and rocketing a shot past West with 5:50 to go in the first.

An SU goal by Palasek, the reigning BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week, two minutes after Marasco's tally tied the game, but Cornell quickly retook the lead with 47 seconds left in the first as Van Bourgondien spun around an Orange defender and threaded a shot from 15 feet past Wardwell.

Midway through the second quarter, the Orange tied the game again as Maltz received a pass from Tim Desko and fired a low shot that got between West's legs for a score. About a minute later, West deprived SU of its first lead of the game when he stoned Kevin Drew in transition, one of nine saves for the Cornell goalie on the night.

In the third quarter, Cornell began to gain control of the contest. The Big Red scored three times in the first five minutes of the period as Lang buried a pair of goals, including one just 20 seconds into the quarter, and Matt Donovan found the cage to give the hosts a 6-3 advantage.

SU sliced the Big Red lead to 6-4 halfway through the third as Eilers netted a man-up goal on a straightaway shot from 15 yards out. However, Van Bourgondien responded with two goals to close the third-period scoring. His extra-man tally after intercepting a Wardwell outlet pass made the score, 8-4, heading into the fourth.

Syracuse was still within three (9-6) after trading goals with Cornell early in the fourth quarter before a three-goal Big Red run in the last six minutes produced the final score. Scott Austin, Cody Bremner and Donovan all scored for Cornell down the stretch to put the game away.

Syracuse will play its third game in eight days on Saturday, April 14 as the Orange heads to Charlotte, N.C. to take on Rutgers in the ESPNU Warrior Classic. Game time is set for 11 a.m.

Game Notes: Marasco's first-quarter goal extended his point-scoring streak to 18 games ... Tuesday night's game marked the first time this season the Orange went into the locker room tied at halftime ... Eilers' two goals matched his season high ... He also scored twice at St. John's on March 10 ... Palasek has 20 points in SU's last five games (4.0 ppg) ... Cornell picked up the 700th win in program history with the victory and extended its nation-leading, home-field winning streak to 15 games ... Syracuse wore navy blue uniforms for the game, a first for the team since 2007.

Previously Reported:

-- No. 13 Syracuse faces its second consecutive Ivy League opponent on Tuesday, April 10 when it visits No. 5 Cornell for a 7 p.m. contest at Schoellkopf Field. It’s the first of three straight road games for the Orange over the next week and a renewal of the fourth-longest rivalry in college lacrosse.

Syracuse is coming off a 10-9 triumph against Princeton Saturday at the Carrier Dome and is back over the .500 mark at 5-4. Cornell is 8-1 and will be gunning for its 700th all-time victory after defeating Harvard at home Saturday, 14-10.

SU and Cornell rank second and seventh, respectively, on the list of all-time winningest Division I programs. The Orange has compiled 826 victories, while Cornell has 699. The two schools have combined to win 14 NCAA national championships (SU 11, Cornell 3).

Both sides have also been excellent recently. Since 2008, Syracuse is 65-12 (.844) and has won two national titles, including the 2009 championship in overtime against Cornell. The Big Red is 58-18 (.763) in that same stretch with two Final Four appearances.

Syracuse is part of two of the longest rivalries in college lacrosse. The Orange has played Central New York neighbors Hobart and Cornell 97 and 96 times, respectively. The top five longest rivalries are listed below:

Cornell vs. Hobart  (133 games)
Johns Hopkins vs. Maryland (107 games)
Hobart vs. Syracuse (97 games)
Cornell vs. Syracuse (96 games)

Princeton vs. Yale (93 games)

Senior attackman Tommy Palasek was named the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week on Monday, April 9 for his five-point performance in Saturday’s win against Princeton. In addition, classmate Kevin Drew landed a spot on the league’s weekly honor roll for his play in the team’s 10-9 victory over the Tigers.

Palasek tied his career high with four goals and passed out one assist. His extra-man goal with 4:11 left in regulation proved to be the game-winner.
Drew scored unassisted with 13 seconds left in the third quarter to cap a 4-0 run that gave Syracuse a 9-7 advantage heading into the final period. He also tied his career high with five ground balls in the game and helped hold Princeton’s first midfield line to three goals.

Tommy Palasek vaulted up the conference scoring chart following his five-point performance against Princeton. He went from seventh to third and trails only St. John’s Kieran McArdle (3.8 ppg) and Villanova’s Kevin Cunningham (2.91 ppg). Palasek is averaging 2.89 points per contest.

True freshman Bobby Wardwell earned the first start of his career against Princeton. The Clifton Park, N.Y. native played the entire the game and faced 28 Princeton shots. He made nine saves and allowed nine goals, but surrendered just five goals in the last three quarters.

Cornell is 8-1 this season, including a 4-0 home record. The Big Red has won its last five since suffering its only loss of the year, 9-8, in overtime to top-ranked Virginia at the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic. Head coach Ben DeLuca’s club is one of the best on both sides of the ball, ranking in the top 15 nationally in scoring offense (6th, 12.89 goals per game) and defense (14th, 8.06 goals allowed per game). Cornell has also been very good with the man advantage, converting 45.5 percent (15-33) of its extra-man chances.

The team has been without superstar attackman Rob Pannell now for seven games after he injured his ankle against Army on March 3. In Panell’s absence, Virginia transfer Connor English has filled in nicely with 14 goals and five assists to complement leading scorers Steve Mock (19g, 6a) and Matt Donovan (12g, 12a). Chris Langton is the Big Red’s top midfield scoring threat. He has 14 goals.

Defensively, long-stick midfielder Thomas Keith leads the team with 45 ground balls. Keith also has four goals on the year. Jason Noble anchors the close defense in front of goalie Andrew West. An Inside Lacrosse Midseason First-Team All-American, Noble has 20 caused turnovers. West boasts a 7.70 goals-against average with 67 saves. He has started eight of Cornell’s nine games.

DeLuca is in his second year as the head coach of the Big Red. A 1998 Cornell alum, DeLuca spent 12 years overall as an assistant on the Cornell sideline. He was promoted to the top job after the 2010 season when Jeff Tambroni left to take over the Penn State program. DeLuca went 14-3 in his first year and guided the Big Red to the NCAA quarterfinals. He owns a 22-4 career coaching record.

The Syracuse-Cornell series dates back to 1920 and the two schools have met every season since 1979. The Orange holds a 61-34-1 advantage in the series and is 28-17-1 in games played in Ithaca. The Orange has registered double-digit goals in 25 of the last 27 meetings dating back to a 1987 NCAA playoff contest won by the Big Red, 18-15. The Orange is 21-6 against Cornell during that stretch and has won the four of the last five, including a 10-9 triumph in overtime to win the 2009 NCAA Championship.

The Orange returns to BIG EAST Conference action Saturday, April 14 against Rutgers at the ESPNU Warrior Classic in Charlotte, N.C. Faceoff is slated for 11 a.m. on ESPNU.

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