Cornell ends Army's run with 14-5 rout

Big Red scores 6 of first 7 goals, returns to Final Four

May 23, 2010|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

STONY BROOK, N.Y. — The clock struck midnight for the Army men's lacrosse team.

The Black Knights' Cinderella-like run through the NCAA tournament came to an abrupt end Sunday as No. 7 seed Cornell scored six of the game's first seven goals en route to a 14-5 victory in the quarterfinal round at Stony Brook.

Many in the crowd at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium openly supported Army (11-6), but the Patriot League regular-season and tournament champion could not reproduce the magic it used in knocking off No. 2 seed and 11-time and defending champ Syracuse in the first round.

Much of that had to do with the Big Red (12-5), which methodically dissected the Black Knights' defense in the first quarter.

Seven of Cornell's eight first-half goals came from shots in the slot or just outside the crease, giving junior goalkeeper Tom Palesky no chance of making the stop. The eighth tally came from junior defenseman Max Feely, who picked up a loose ball off the faceoff and raced in alone.

Feely was the one who scored the game-winning goal in triple overtime to send the Big Red to the quarterfinals and Loyola home for the summer.

Nerves might have played a role in the beginning of the contest. Army, which hadn't reached this stage of the tournament since 1993 and was seeking the program's first trip to the Final Four, rushed a few shots on its earlier possessions and at one point failed to clear on back-to-back attempts by sailing passes over the heads of teammates.

Meanwhile, Cornell, which earned its third appearance in the national semifinals in the past four seasons, looked composed and was physical enough to win 18 of 31 ground balls in the first half.

A second-half comeback for the Black Knights was doomed by the left leg injury to Palesky (five saves), who crumpled to the turf after attempting to run upfield with the ball as time expired in the second quarter.

Although Palesky got up and limped off under his own power and did not miss a minute of the second half, he had no lateral movement and was late in trying to stop back-to-back goals by Big Red sophomore attackman Rob Pannell.

Cornell senior attackman Rob Hurley and Pannell led all scorers with five points each. Hurley recorded four goals and one assist, while Pannell added two goals and three assists. Freshman attackman Steve Mock scored three times, all in the first half.

The Black Knights were paced by senior attackman Tyler Seymour, who recorded one goal and one assist.

Notes: The Big Red has won the past six meetings against Army. Cornell improved to 9-1 when scoring 10 goals in a game. The nine-goal loss is tied for third-worst in the Black Knights history. Army lost by 12 goals to Johns Hopkins in 2003, by 10 to Georgetown in 2005 and by nine to North Carolina in 1993 and Syracuse in 1996.

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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