Two-hundred-three years ago to the day yesterday, a group of red-clad gentlemen descended on the residents of the Boston area, hellbent on destroying the upstart locals. Cornell's lacrosse team re-enacted the incident on the Business School field yesterday, as the Big Red clobbered a Harvard team that had dared to entertain the revolutionary notion of upsetting the number one team in the nation.
The score was 18-10, if you were counting, but even that does not indicate how thoroughly Cornell--owners of the longest winning streak in college lacrosse history--dominated the rain-soaked contest. The Big Red roared off to 5-0 and 10-2 leads before the half, and they controlled all aspects of the game until they eased off in the second half with the lead comfortably established.
"They're the best," Crimson coach Bob Scalise said after the contest, and that pretty much said it all.
No Harvard attackman scored a goal until nine minutes into the second half, when Steve Martin slipped behind the cage, took a return pass from Hank Leopold and rammed home a beauty while reeling on the slippery turf, to make it 10-3. If it had not been for the inspired play of midfielder Jamie Egasti (11 of 16 second-half faceoffs), and the late-game sharp-shooting of Mike Faught (four goals, one assist), the legendary Ithacans might have humbled the Crimson even more.
Humbled, mind you, not humiliated. Harvard turned in a respectable performance, but any chances they had for an upset were smothered by the brilliant play of Red goalie John Griffin. Griffin allowed just five goals in three quarters of action, making Cornell's cage seem virtually impenetrable as he repelled--among other volleys--four point-blank shots from Faught, Bill Forbush and Martin (twice).
"That first goalie was great," scoring ace Faught, who managed just one tally off Griffin, said in the Dillon locker room afterwards.
Not much of the day, in fact, went well for Harvard. From the minute the game opened, under foreboding skies before a crowd of perhaps 700, Cornell took charge.
All-American Craig Jaeger controlled most of the first-half face-offs, and Harvard looked nervous and tight as the visitors coasted to a 5-0 lead. Middies Gordie Nelson and Terry Trusty shook Harvard out of its stagnating style of play with two picture-perfect long shots midway through the second quarter, but Cornell owned the rest of the opening half.
"We had no fast break in the first half. We weren't breaking like we had to," Faught said. And while Harvard was missing easy passes on its break, Cornell was breaking furiously, taking helpless Harvard goalie Ken First high, low, east and west with easy point-blank shots. First had ten first-half saves, and he only had a chance on two of the ten goals.
"Stupid. We played a stupid game in the first half, a downcast First said. "They're great shooters from in close. It was very frustrating."
The second half saw things change. Martin opened the scoring with his beautiful, scrambling score, and Forbush scored two minutes later on a quick pick-up-and-pop after a Martin shot rebounded off Griffin.
But it was too little, too late, and by the time Faught unpacked his rifle, Cornell had the game locked up. There were some highlights, of course--Egasti continued his brilliant play, winning the face-offs and engineering some key fastbreaks; middie Peter Predun and defender Haywood Miller maintained their consistently strong level of play; and Chris "The Beast" Doherty brought the rain-reduced crowd to its feet when he single-handedly took on the Cornell defense to fire up the Harvard squad.
Despite the strong showings, the Red offense beat First enough in the second half to keep Harvard from mounting any kind of a serious comeback. The Ithacans converted on five of seven man-up situations for the day, and four-of-four in the second half.
As Scalise said, they're the best. Two Cornell players, seven Harvard players had one point each. GOALIES Ken First (H)--16 saves. John Griffin (C)--11 saves in 3 quarters Bob Jackson (C)--4 saves in 4th qtr.
Two Cornell players, seven Harvard players had one point each.
Ken First (H)--16 saves.
John Griffin (C)--11 saves in 3 quarters
Bob Jackson (C)--4 saves in 4th qtr.
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