Cornell Thwarts Furious Loyola Rally In 3OT Thriller

May 15, 2010

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ITHACA, N.Y. - Cornell's Max Feely scored in transition with 2:05 remaining in the third overtime to lift the Big Red to a 11-10 victory over visiting Loyola University Maryland in the NCAA Championships First Round.

The goal thwarted a furious Loyola rally that saw them come back from seven goals down in the third quarter.

The Big Red (11-5 overall) picked up a ground ball after a wide Loyola (9-5) shot and raced down field for the winning goal.

Cornell took a 9-2 lead on a Steve Mock extra-man goal in the third quarter, but Loyola rallied to score the next six goals to pull within a goal in the fourth quarter.

"It was truly a tale of two halves," Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey said. "When the chips were down, we challenged our guys at halftime, and we came out and played like Greyhounds. We put ourselves in a position to win."

Josh Hawkins scored his second goal of the game - the first multi-goal game of his career - to snap a scoreless stretch of 25-minutes, 25-seconds.

Collin Finnerty then took a Chris Basler pass to make it 9-4 in Cornell's favor, and Taylor Ebsary scored on a dribbling shot with 5:28 to go in the third quarter.

Davis Butts mishandled a Finnerty pass from behind the cage, but he alertly chipped it over the shoulder of Cornell goalkeeper A.J. Fiore for a goal.

Finnerty then added his second with 2:47 in the third on a low-to-high shot from the left side, making it a 9-7 game at the end of the third quarter.

After neither team scored in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter, Butts used a long dodge from the left side to score from the center of the field. His second goal - also his first multi-goal game - came with 9:53 left in regulation.

Cornell finally scored with 7:21 left in the game as Ryan Hurley took a Rob Pannell pass and scored from the right side, giving the Big Red an 10-8 lead.

Matt Langan, however, scored unassisted, wrapping around the crease from `X' to pull Loyola back within one, 10-9, with 4:41 to play.

The Greyhounds used a 7-man ride to cause a Cornell turnover with less than two minutes to play, and Loyola took a timeout with possession in the box 1:22 before the final horn.

Cooper MacDonnell took a low, bouncing shot with 53 seconds remaining that Fiore saved.

MacDonnell, however, rode the Cornell defender up the far sideline and caused a turnover, giving Loyola possession with 42 ticks left coming out of a timeout.

After two Loyola shots - one by Finnerty and the other by Ebsary - went high, Loyola took possession from behind the cage with 17 seconds left.

Langan passed to MacDonnell on the far right side, and MacDonnell found Stephen Murray camped out in front of the goal, eight yards out. Murray ripped a shot into the top of the cage with seven seconds left, forcing overtime.

Loyola took possession late in overtime as Kyle Cottrell caused a Big Red turnover and picked up the ground ball. After an eventful clear, Loyola called timeout with 1:02 remaining.

MacDonnell's shot with 17 seconds left, however, went wide, and the teams went into a second overtime.

The Greyhounds had three shots, one each by MacDonnell, Langan and Finnerty that went wide early in the second overtime.

After a Cornell clear, Pannell got a step of space and ripped a shot from 15 yards out, but Alex Peaty knocked it down for a save.

On Loyola's ensuing possession, MacDonnell took a shot that went into the side of the net, and Cornell took another shot on offense.

Pannell, however, dropped a pass out of bounds, giving the Greyhounds another attempt on offense.

Ebsary ripped a shot off a Langan pass, but it sailed just high at the buzzer, forcing a third overtime.

Loyola's comeback was triggered by several factors, but outstanding goaltending by Alex Peaty and faceoff work by John Schiavone were chief among them.

Peaty entered the game after Cornell's eighth goal and finished with eight saves and only two goals allowed in over 45 minutes of action.

"In the second half, we took each play one at a time," Peaty said. "That allowed us to claw back in."

Cornell won 8-of-12 faceoffs in the first half, but Schiavone won 12-of-15 from that point forward for Loyola.

"There's always a plan with John and his position coach (Steve Vaikness)," Toomey said. "Even during the game, Steve came over to me and said that (John's) settled down. He knew what he needed to do based on the personnel he was facing. Early in the third quarter, Steve said that we were in a good spot."

Loyola picked up 38 ground balls in the game to Cornell's 23. Schiavone led the way with seven, and Scott Ratliff and Cottrell each picked up three. It was just the second time this season that Loyola had more ground balls than its opponents and lost (Johns Hopkins, 5/8).

Steve Layne, who missed the Johns Hopkins' game on May 8 with a knee injury, had two caused turnovers and three ground balls.

Turnovers were an early factor in Cornell building its lead. Three Greyhounds miscues led to Cornell goals in the first 21 minutes.

Cornell's Chris Langton and Steve Mock scored the game's first two goals, both off Loyola turnovers, putting the Big Red ahead 2-0 with 9:13 to play in the first quarter.

Loyola's Hawkins scored in transition, off a Cornell turnover, at the 5:22 mark to put the Greyhounds (9-5) on the board.

One minute and one second later, Eric Lusby used a Basler screen and dodged to the left side, scoring a goal into the upper-right corner, evening the score at 2-2 with 4:21 to go.

Cornell, however, scored the next seven goals to take command of the game.

Hawkins scored with 8:56 to go in the third quarter - for the first multi-goal game of his career - ending a scoreless stretch of 25;25 for Loyola.

After Hawkins's first goal, Mock and Rob Pannell scored in the first quarter to put the Big Red up, 4-2 entering the second.

Ryan Hurley then took a David Lau pass and scored following a Loyola turnover early in the second quarter.

Cornell continued its run with goals from Langton, Lau, Pannell and Mock.