Rain clouds threatened to spoil Senior Day at Schoellkopf Field on Saturday afternoon, as the men’s lacrosse team hosted the Brown Bears. In hopes of defending its nation-best 15-game win streak, Cornell appeared to struggle offensively throughout the contest, eventually losing to Brown, 10-9. According to head coach Ben DeLuca ’98, the Red made mistakes across the board, which contributed to the team’s second loss of the season.
“[We are] disappointed in the effort that we put on the field tonight for our seniors,” he said. “Don’t think that we came out with a lot of energy. We certainly weren’t very focused and made some foolish mistakes across the board — defensive end, offensive end. Some of our stick work wasn’t very sharp.”
Despite having the upper hand in shots, ground balls, won faceoffs and balls cleared, the Red (9-2, 4-1 Ivy League) struggled to find the back of the net in the first half of the game, recording only three goals compared the five that Brown (6-7, 2-3) managed to put away. According to senior midfielder Chris Langton, Cornell was having trouble mastering the basics on the field.
“We just didn’t do the little things that we do day to day off the ground,” he said. “It’s a very important aspect of the game and it didn’t go our way.”
Langton put the Red on the board less than a minute into the game, scoring his first of two unassisted goals for the day. Junior attack Connor English responded a seven minutes later, notching his first of two goals for the day. Brown answered with a four-goal run before junior attacker Steve Mock responded with his first of two goals for the Red. Earning Cornell’s only hat trick for the day, junior attack Max Van Bourgondien scored his first goal in the third period, bringing the Red within one point, 6-5. Mock evened the game out, 6-6, two minutes later, before Brown pulled ahead for the second of five times in the contest.
Despite a late fourth-quarter goal by Van Bourgondien, which tied the game, 9-9, Brown secured the 10-9 win with just four seconds remaining on the scoreboard. The loss against Brown marks only the second time that Cornell has lost this season.
“I talked to the guys in the locker room afterwards; this is a feeling that we haven’t felt in a quite while and it’s going to be one that I hope our guys keep in a portion of their hearts and understand that it’s not something that we are going to dwell on,” DeLuca said. “It’s a bitter taste and it’s very disappointing, especially knowing the potential of our team and what we’re capable of doing.”
Learning from the mistakes made in the game against Brown will help the Red as it begins to prepare for this weekend’s game against Princeton — the last of the regular season.
“The bottom line is that I don’t think our team deserved to win today and that’s disappointing and certainly squarely on my shoulders as head coach,” DeLuca said. “Moving forward this is a very motivated group getting ready for the Princeton Tigers.”
One area that Cornell will need to focus on is creating more scoring opportunities by the net. According to DeLuca, there is some concern about the Red’s defense.
“I think we are concerned about a lot of things,” DeLuca said. “I think we are concerned about the way we defended. I’m very disappointed by the way we defended. … There were some scrambled and unsettled, broken plays that [Brown] took advantage of.”