Cornell pounced early and built an insurmountable lead over the Binghamton men’s lacrosse team on Tuesday afternoon en route to a 14-8 victory.
The Big Red (2-0), ranked 15th in Insider Lacrosse’s Top 25 poll, followed up its dominant performance against Hobart by securing the first five face-offs and netting the first three goals.
“It’s so tough to play from behind,” BU head coach Scott Nelson said. “We shouldn’t be putting ourselves in that hole, but we made a lot of mistakes to get there.”
Cornell applied the heat early and didn’t cool off. Senior attack Dan Lintner recorded a hat trick in the first 5:14 of play and overall, the Big Red put up 10 shots before Binghamton managed one. Costly BU turnovers contributed to the host’s slump, and by the end of the first quarter, the Bearcats trailed in shots, 16-3.
The second quarter was more forgiving. Junior attack Alex Doerflein subbed in and controlled four face-offs to Cornell’s five and BU leveled the shot count a bit, recording eight to Cornell’s 10 in that quarter. The team’s increased offensive activity paved the way for Doerflein and classmate Paul O’Donnell to put up to late goals and cut the deficit to 9-4 before the half.
“We started to play like we can play,” Nelson said. “We were playing more to our ability, we just played a little immature for lack of a better word in the first half.”
The Bearcats carried their momentum with them into a closely-fought second half. Senior midfielder Michael Antinozzi, O’Donnell and redshirt senior attack Matt Springer all posted crucial numbers to bring the deficit down to three with five minutes remaining in the third quarter.
But the Big Red were not to be ousted so easily by the self-proclaimed Public Ivy. Despite a string of penalties, Cornell took the momentum back late in the third quarter with an unassisted goal by junior attack Matt Donovan. The Bearcats saw the deficit creep back up to six, as they would not reach the back of the net again until late in the fourth, on a goal from junior attack Tucker Nelson.
“I think we’re at the same level as them, we made too many mistakes,” Nelson said. “We got the score to 10-7, but just think of all the mistakes we had before that. If we didn’t have those, we’re up 10-7.”
Still, play in the second half didn’t quite reflect the disparity of the team’s rankings. BU trailed by just one shot in the third quarter, 9-8, and two in the fourth, 9-7, while Cornell outscored BU by one point (5-4).
Binghamton has now lost each of its 11 games in the the all-time series with Cornell.
“We’ve go to come out and have a better start for the game,” Nelson said of his expectations moving forward. “And we have to score some goals earlier, to give our guys some confidence.”
The Bearcats look to end their two-game skid against Hobart (0-2), whose losses came by the sticks of the same opponents this season.
Play is set for 1 p.m. at Boswell Field in Geneva, N.Y.