Cornell then quickly went up by two goals, but once again the Crimson answered, led by co-captain Peter Schwartz. The midfielder forced a turnover in his own end of the field, scooped up the ground ball, ran the length of the field, and scored, invigorating his teammates and cutting the lead down to one before sophomore attackman Will Walker tied the score going into halftime.
Harvard had been outperformed by its opponent in several aspects of the game up to that point. The Big Red had controlled most of the ground balls, had committed fewer turnovers, and—despite giving up several man-up opportunities—had prevented the Crimson from capitalizing on these chances.
The one aspect of the game in which Harvard had been better than Cornell was in faceoffs, which was the primary reason that the game was still close. Senior midfielder Gabe Mendola won 10 of the 13 faceoffs in the first half.
“We looked at each other at halftime and knew that we were sick of being the ‘little brother’ to them for so long,” Petrucci said. “We wanted to change that attitude, and we did.”
In the second half, the Crimson began securing more ground balls and limiting its turnovers, and Mendola continued to dominate in faceoffs, finishing 20-of-26 and scooping up 10 ground balls on the day.
As a result of this, Harvard dominated the possession game, which led it to outshoot the Big Red, 38-21.
Walker finished with four goals and one assist, while sophomore attackman Devin Dwyer had three assists and one goal.
“Lacrosse is a game of runs and momentum,” Wojcik said. “We came out of the locker room at halftime and began playing the best lacrosse we had played up to that point. The confidence continues to build after a game like that, and it really made a difference for our season.”
—Staff writer Theo Levine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.