EAST HARTFORD, C.T.—Cornell University’s men’s lacrosse team mounted a furious rally in the second half of Monday’s NCAA men’s lacrosse championship game against the University of Maryland, but it wasn’t enough to overcome an early barrage by the Terrapins. Maryland ended up prevailing 9-7.
After going down 9-2 thanks to an explosive start by Maryland, Cornell scored five unanswered goals to pull within two, but time ran out on the comeback. The last goal was scored with 36 seconds left on the clock by Cornell’s John Piatelli, the nation’s leading scorer, but Maryland was able to run out the clock after that. Maryland goaltender Logan McNaney was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
Cornell, which ended the season with a 14-5 record, rode a Cinderella-esque run into the championship game, starting as a 7-seed and beating Ohio State University, University of Delaware and 6-seed Rutgers University to advance to the title game. During that run, they outscored their opponents 42-26. They were seeking their first tournament championship since 1977. Cornell’s goals were scored by Piatelli, Hugh Kelleher, Michael Long, Aiden Blake, Spencer Wirtheim, and two goals from CJ Kirst.
But the Big Red ran into a buzzsaw Maryland team that had cruised through the first three games of the tournament, and much of the season as well. Cornell gave the Terrapins their closest match of the tournament, as Maryland had racked up goal margins of 16, 9 and 5 in their tournament games.
UM finished with an undefeated 18-0 record, the first team to do so since 2006 in NCAA men’s lacrosse. The Terps have only lost one time in the last two seasons.