ITHACA, N.Y. – In a season already full of impressive wins, Bucknell men’s lacrosse added one more highlight to its resume with a 9-8 upset over second-ranked Cornell at Schoellkopf Field on Tuesday evening. The Bison (7-1) overcame a snow delay and rallied from a one-goal deficit at halftime to win their sixth consecutive game. Sean Doyle led Bucknell with three goals, although Chase Bailey had the game-winner, and keeper Kyle Feeney tallied six saves.
Although the Big Red (6-1) scored the first five goals of the game, they suffered their first loss of the season thanks to the Bison. After Cornell’s strong start, Bucknell netted five of the contest’s next six goals, setting the halftime score at 6-5 in favor of the home team.
The second half saw more back-and-forth scoring before Bailey scored the game-winning goal with one minute left on the clock. Doyle had twice tied the game, first at 6-6 for the only goal of the third period and again at 7-7early in the fourth. He now has 17 goals on the year, giving him the third-most among Bison.
Bucknell’s season goal-scoring leader Thomas Flibotte gave the Bison their first lead of the game. Flibotte put the ball in the back of the net on an assist from Peter Burke to put Bucknell in front 8-7 with 7:14 to play. It was the freshman’s second goal of the game after he also opened his team’s scoring back in the second period.
Flibotte had two goals in the game. Joining him and Doyle with multiple goals was Bailey (2). Burke and Todd Heritage also had one apiece. David Dickson was responsible for three assists on the night, one of which led to Bailey’s game-winner.
Six different players scored for Cornell. Leading the Big Red were Rob Pannell and Matt Donovan with two each. Pannell also had two assists.
After allowing six goals in the first half, Feeney (6-1) limited Cornell to just two more for the rest of the game, both of which came in the fourth quarter. The senior’s strong finish held the Big Red, which entered the game as the highest scoring team in the country at 15.2 goals per game, to a season-low eight total goals.
The rest of the Bucknell defense also put the pressure on Cornell in the waning minutes as it forced the Big Red into 10 second-half turnovers. That total was up from three in the first half. The Bison turned the ball over 21 times in the game.
Cornell’s AJ Fiore (6-1) made 10 saves and allowed all nine goals in the loss. The Big Red faced most of the shots in the second half when the Bison outshot them 23-12. Bucknell ended up with a 40-34 advantage in shots for the game.
Bucknell won 16 of 21 face-offs. Ryan Gutowski finished his night at the X at 11-for-16, while Gavin Sullivan was 5-for-5.
Bucknell’s win over Cornell is its thirds victory against a ranked opponent this month. The Bison also defeated No. 9/13 UMass on March 9 and No. 13 Drexel three days later. The success moved the Orange & Blue up to No. 15 in the latest USILA Coaches’ Poll and 16th in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll.
Bucknell will return to New York for its next game, taking on Albany on the road at 1 p.m. on Saturday.