Cornell Stays Perfect on Return Trip to Philadelphia
|Connor Buczek (pictured) and Dan Lintner each had four goals as Cornell won a big Ivy League game and stayed unbeaten on the season in Philadelphia. (Greg Wall)|
In-Game Blog Replay
PHILADELPHIA -- The site was different, as is much of the team, but after a 10-month wait, Cornell finally celebrated in Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon.
Connor Buczek and Dan Lintner each paired four goals with one assist and the undefeated No. 3 Big Red dominated No. 12 Penn, 17-9, in an Ivy League showdown at Penn Park.
It was Cornell's first visit to the City of Brotherly Love since last year's NCAA semifinals, where they lost a 16-14 heartbreaker to Duke at Lincoln Financial Field.
"It's a different day and a different place," said Buczek. "A lot of the team is different this year. But that bus ride definitely brings back memories. We were this close."
Back in Philly on Saturday, Cornell (8-0) was close with Penn for about one quarter.
The Big Red fell behind, 4-2, midway through the first, but would not trail again after Dan Lintner's dramatic alley-oop goal off an assist from John Hogan with three seconds remaining in the frame. Less than 10 seconds earlier, the ball had been in Cornell's defensive zone.
"We've got some studs on offense," Buczek said. "We rely on our system, we don't expect one guy to do it on his own. It's tough to guard six guys, it's really easy to guard one."
Donovan finished with three goals and one assist, John Edmonds had three goals and Hogan dished out four assists, along with one score. By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, Cornell's lead had swelled to 14-6.
The Big Red built that lead quickly, scoring seven seconds into the second half, and seemed to perpetually have possession.
Doug Tesoriero won 16 draws, but even when he lost, his wings would immediately get the ball back.
"That's something we definitely practice," Tesoirio said. "Just making it a one-man game instead of a three-man game. It's kind of a confidence booster."
Zach Losco and Kevin Brown each scored twice for Penn, which fell to 3-3. Penn had won both its two previous home games, but they had been played at nearby Franklin Field.
"It's a different atmosphere," Tesoriero said. "We're used to playing in the big Eagles Stadium. [Penn Park] kind of feels like you're back in high school. We're not in Franklin Field anymore. But great weather. We're glad to be back in Philly."
The Big Red graduated 16 players from last year. Their 12 freshman have yet to lose a college game.
"It's definitely an experience," said freshman Andrew Keith, who has appeared in all eight games this season. "I would never have expected this kind of run. I thought it was going to be a close game, 17-9 is a big win."
Freshman goalie Christian Knight continued his impressive first season and made eight saves.
"If a shot is taken then I'm looking up and seeing if he's outletting it," said Tesoriero. "I have that much confidence in him. Hopefully he just continues this great campaign."
Said Knight: "It's just a lot of fun to be out here against some of the best teams in the country."
When it as all over, the Big Red jogged to the opposite sideline and saluted their fans. Some players repeatedly chanted "Hubert." As they walked off the field, another suggested they go get cheesesteaks.
After so many graduations, and a tumultuous offseason, Cornell is right back to where it was last season. Playing in Philadelphia as one of the best teams in the country.
"From Day 1 we've had a chip on our shoulder," Tesoriero said. "We went through a lot of stuff in the fall. A lot of people doubted us. But I feel like if we put our team from last year and the team from this year on the field against each other, it would be a great battle."
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