Fifth-seeded Cornell parlayed a strong defensive effort with a great game by freshman Rob Pannell to defeat fourth-seeded Princeton Tigers 6-4 in quarterfinal action at Stuart Stadium in Hempsted, New York.
Today marked the sixth win in seven tries for the Big Red over its Ivy League rival.
Cornell took advantage of Princeton beginning the game with lackadaisical effort by scoring the first two goals. Junior attacker Ryan Hurley scored unassisted for his 41st goal of the season, and George Calvert buried a Jonathan Thomson pass to the back of the cage to put Cornell up early.
Jack McBride cut the lead in half after scoring with 1:52 left in the first quarter.
Cornell responded with Rob Pannell registering his first of three assists for the game after making a great run behind the net and flipping the ball to Rocco Romero for a goal.
Jake Myers only had to make five saves all game long but started the second quarter off with a tremendous save off the stick of Scott Mackenzie. The Big Red's defense continued to deny Princeton penetration as the Tigers had to settle for outside shots that mostly went wide of net.
Jonathan Thompson and John Glynn scored the only goals of the quarter to give the Big Red a 5-1 halftime lead.
The game looked lost for Princeton as the third quarter progressed with no scoring by either side. However, the momentum began to change when Tommy Davis scored for the Tigers with 3:54 left in the quarter. With 28 seconds left in the quarter, Chris McBride scored to reduce Cornell's lead to 5-3.
Princeton looked like they were ready to take control of the game, but two big plays brought momentum back to Cornell.
First, Princeton thought they reduced the lead to one goal when Mark Kovler rocketed a shot past Jake Myers, but it was ruled to occur after time expired to end the third quarter.
Next, Myers stuffed Chris McBride with a basket save in open space 10 seconds into the fourth quarter.
The Big Red connection of Pannell-Romero combined again with 7:36 left in the game to put Cornell up 6-3.
Kovler finally scored a goal with 1:32 left to give him 34 for the season. John Glynn won his ninth face-off of the game to allow Cornell to run out the clock for the 6-4 victory.
The Big Red advances to the Final Four in Foxboro, MA and awaits Sunday's winner of the Virginia-Johns Hopkins match.