Harvard and Cornell Advance to the Men's Lacrosse Tournament Championship Game
ITHACA, N.Y. -- Harvard proved potent on the man-up attack and attackmen Dean Gibbons and Jeff Cohen carried over their fine offensive form from the regular season to lead the third-seeded Crimson to a 12-8 win over second-seeded Penn in the 2011 Ivy League Tournament's first semifinal game at Schoellkopf Field in Ithaca, N.Y.
In the second game, top-seeded Cornell found itself behind early but rallied to take control of the game in the second quarter en route to an 11-7 victory. Steve Mock and Mike O'Neill each had three goals for the Big Red, while reigning Ivy League Player of the Year Rob Pannell had a goal and five assists.
Cornell and Harvard will meet at noon on Sunday, May 8 in the championship game of the 2011 Ivy Lacrosse Tournament, with the winner earning the League's automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship. Sunday's game will be televised live on ESPNU and also carries on ESPN3.com
Semifinal 1: Harvard 12, Penn 8
Cohen scored the day's first goal, finishing off a Gibbons feed from just outside the crease. A Ryan Stevens diving shot put Harvard up 2-0 and the Crimson was on its way to a 4-1 first quarter lead.
Harvard came out and scored the first three goals of the second quarter to build a 7-1 lead before John Conneely scored his second of the game, this time while a man-up, stopping the Crimson run. Penn's Drew Belinsky scored with six seconds left in the half to make the 8-3 in favor of the Crimson at the break.
Terry White and Al Kohart traded goals to open the third quarter and then Kohart added another at 6:29 of the third to pull Penn back into the game at 9-5. But Peter Schwartz of Harvard scored next while on the man-up, moving the score to 10-5 – where it would stay entering the fourth quarter. Penn ended up outscoring the Crimson, 5-4, in the second half but it was not enough to overcome Harvard's fast start.
In the Crimson cage, Harry Krieger finished with nine saves, while his counterpart Brian Feeney also stopped nine shots.
Notes: Dean Gibbons extended his point-scoring streak for the Crimson, pushing it to 28 games (59-42-101) … Harvard was a perfect 3-for-3 on man-up chances … the Crimson has won three games in a row … the Quakers' Al Kohart led Penn with three goals on the day, giving him a team-best 25 on the year.
Semifinal 2: Cornell 11, Yale 7
Cornell scored the game's first goal, but it was Yale that got out to the fast start in the second semifinal, building a 4-1 lead before Cornell's O'Neill made it 4-2 at the end of the first quarter. Cornell then scored the only four goals in the second quarter, including two from Mock, to make it 6-4 at the half.
Cornell's Roy Lang and JJ Gilbane scored the next two goals to push the score to 8-4 before Yale's Jack Flaherty scored at the 3:22 mark of the third to break a 29-minute scoring drought for the Bulldogs. Matt Gibson scored two goals in the final quarter to reach the 20-goal plateau for the season, but it was not enough to catch the Big Red.
For the game, Yale goalie Johnathan Falcone finished with 9 saves, while AJ Fiore finished with 11 saves for the Big Red.
Notes: In the second game, Mike O'Neill set a career high with three goals… Rob Pannell became the first Big Red player in program history to record 40 assists in three seasons … Johnathan Falcone finished with 118 saves on the year.