Lacrosse Gamecenter: Cornell vs. Notre Dame
|Last Goal: CU - Ryan Hurley from Rob Pannell @ 0:16 (4th)|
|M & T Bank Stadium - Baltimore, MD
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It's a beautiful day in Baltimore, Maryland where the NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Semifinal is getting set to kick off. The 4pm game today will feature the #7 Cornell Big Red facing off against the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. WVBR's David DyTang is on site to provide in-game updates and analysis, so stay tuned to WVBR.com throughout the afternoon.
What to Look For:
Notre Dame has upset highly-favored Princeton and Maryland teams by playing strong defense and holding a tough group of attackers at bay. Look towards Notre Dame Junior Kevin Ridgway to defend sophomore Ivy League Attackman of the Year Rob Pannell, who alongside senior Ryan Hurley have provided the brunt of the Big Red offense. Look towards Cornell freshman goaltender and Ithaca Native AJ Fiore, however, to put a stop to a weaker Fighting Irish attack, with some help from junior Max Feely. Even though Cornell boasts a starting lineup with multiple freshmen, they're still much more experienced in tournament play than Notre Dame, this being their 3rd trip to the final four in the last 4 years.
- Roy Lang scores first for the Big Red, assisted by David Lau.
9:46 - Notre Dame has pushed hard throughout the first part of this period, but the Cornell defense has stood strong, swarming attackers and consistently getting to the ball. So far, only Cornell has been able to draw blood thanks to a beautiful shot on goal from Roy Lang.
3:12 - The Fighting Irish have been pretty solid on their half since the Cornell goal, however. The Big Red are working hard to get something going, but no luck so far. Time to take a timeout and talk things over.
- Notre Dame comes out of the timeout with a big score to een the game. Sean Rogers takes it from Colin Igoe to tie things up.
- The Fighting Irish keep up the attack, taking a well-placed shot on goal to take a 2-1 lead.
- Once again, the Big Red defense look like they're struggling early, as Adam Felcitti slips past a pushing penalty and gets a pretty looking shot on goal as he falls. AJ Fiore had trouble even getting ready for it.
What looked like a very close defensive matchup early between these two teams has turned every so slightly lopsided in the Fighting Irish's favor. The Big Red has taken twice as many shots as Notre Dame and the Fighting Irish have six turnovers to Cornell's one. The difference so far has been a struggle on the defensive end. The Notre Dame attack has proved to be just a bit quicker and more adept at finding holes so far.
- Zach Brenneman finds the goal for Notre Dame as the Fighting Irish build on their momentum. Once again, the Big Red defense is looking porous as Notre Dame has shown remarkable ability at exploiting small gaps.
- Steve Mock takes a perfect pass from Rob Pannell in front of the goal and drops it past the goaltender to snap a nearly 16-minute scoreless streak for the Big Red.
- Zach Brenneman takes advantage of an extra-man opportunity with a pass from David Earl turned into a quick grounder past Fiore. Notre Dame heads back into a 3-goal lead. Cornell will have to step up its discipline and avoid penalties on their half if the Big Red want to be able to compete defensively.
|[[link|keyword=sportsblog/613]]Cornell Falls in Lacrosse Final Four[[end-link]]|
8:23 - Cornell needs some time to talk things over and figure out how to keep up with the Notre Dame attack. So far, the Fighting Irish have quite simply been looking quicker and more athletic, and better able to fill defensive gaps.
5:34 - It's been a quiet few minutes now as the teams settle into a defensive rhythm. Cornell has had a few shots on goal which have been saved easily by Notre Dame goaltender Scott Rodgers. This is beginning to look like the early minutes of the game before Notre Dame began breaking through. The Big Red cannot settle for status quo, though, and will need to step up and score to get some momentum going before the half.
- Steve Mock takes a pass from David Lau to score his second goal of the game. Lau shows his reputation as a team player today with his second assist of the afternoon. Time for a game break as the officials figure out how to deal with a hole in the net.
- Neal Hicks gets around the defense with a top-heavy shot that just wraps inside Fiore's stick and into the net. Notre Dame will head into halftime with a 6-3 lead.
No major changes to note in the second period, as Cornell and Notre Dame dutifully traded goals in good old lacrosse fashion. The last goal by Hicks definitely gives the Fighting Irish a momentum advantage heading into the halftime break, but victory is not yet out of reach for the Big Red. Expect Coach Tambroni to give both the defense and offense a good talking in the locker room as we prepare for the final 30 minutes of play.
HalftimeWhat Cornell Needs to Do in the 2nd Half
: The Big Red need to reorganize if they want to pull out the victory today. Cornell has been trailing at halftime three times this season and has lost all three times. To turn things around, the Big Red need to step up on defense
. Notre Dame has taken advantage of its athleticism to find holes in the defense and exploit them every time - AJ Fiore is going to continue to have a tough time with saves as long as Notre Dame attackers keep fighting through. Cornell also needs to take better shots
. The Big Red has been successful so far shooting from the inside - the team will have to keep it up in the second half and get themselves into position to score. Cornell has outshot Notre Dame 20-14 so far, yet trails by 3 goals.
What Notre Dame Needs to Do in the 2nd Half
: If the Fighting Irish want to continue through with a victory today, they will have to stay strong on defense
. So far, the team has been successful as plugging up holes and keeping Cornell from finding an open shot. If they can keep that up, a win will be that much easier to come by. They will also have to keep shooting
. The Notre Dame attackers are doing a good job at finding the Big Red's defensive holes and using them to score on 6 out of 14 shots so far. Keep shooting, and the goals will come. Notre Dame is 8-1 when leading at halftime this season.
- Zach Brenneman finds the net yet again from the outside to lead Notre Dame to a 4-goal lead. Brenneman picks up the hat trick, tying his 4-time season high.
- Cornell looks inside to Steve Mock, who takes it from Jack Dudley to score. Mock earns the hat trick as well as the Big Red score once again from right up top.
- Ross Gillum takes a quick pass from Ryan Hurley to score for the first time today. It took multiple tries for Cornell to score, but they seem to be gradually finding their touch on attack.
- Notre Dame takes advantage of another extra-man opportunity on attack as Neal Hicks picks up his third goal of the day. Cornell is fighting on defense, and had narrowly escaped multiple shots before the score. This one came on the tails of another penalty on the Cornell defense - an opportunity that is becoming familiar for the Fighting Irish attack.
So far, the Big Red have remained were they have been the entire game, while the Fighting Irish can do no wrong. Cornell is still struggling with discipline on defense, although part of this is an inability thus far to keep up with the Notre Dame attackers. The game is on the pace it has been since the end of the first period, and this will have to be an exceptional final period if Cornell is looking to come back.
- Notre Dame's Steve Murphy beats the defense coming from behind the goal and gets another shot sneaking into the side of the net. It's another of the Fighting Irish's testaments to its quickness today. Notre Dame takes a 4-goal lead.
- Ryan Hurley earns his first goal of the afternoon off a pass from Ross Gillum. The senior, along with top attacker Rob Pannell have been virtual non-factors for the Big Red today. Cornell needs 3 more goals, but time is dwindling.
- Neal Hicks picks up goal number 4 for Notre Dame, tying his career-high on a quick move around the defender in front of the goal. Time continues to tick against Cornell.
2:39 - Notre Dame has taken its final timeout with less than 3 minutes to play. If they can keep up what they have been doing throughout the afternoon in these final seconds, a victory will be in the bag.
- Andrew Irving for Notre Dame makes an absolutely gorgeous move around both the defender and Fiore to drop the ball in the top left corner of the net. The Fighting Irish go up by 5.
- Less than 2 minutes to play and Notre Dame is not letting up. Grant Krebs takes it himself on the open goal to score. The Fighting Irish lead by 6.
- With an extra-man opportunity, Ryan Hurley picks up his second goal of the day. Rob Pannell earns the assist.
Notre Dame wraps up today's game with a 12-7 victory over the Big Red. The Fighting Irish did what they have been doing all postseason - taking over on defense and making veteran attackers like Ryan Hurley and Rob Pannell non-factors today. With the win, the Fighting Irish head on to its first ever NCAA championship against Duke on Monday.
Today's blog coverage of the NCAA Lacrosse Men's Division I semifinal has been brought to you by WVBR Sports and our reporter on the scene, David DyTang. For a full game recap and story, visit [[link|keyword=sportsblog/613]]http://wvbr.com/sportsblog/613[[end-link]].