Albany v. (8) Cornell
Albany poured in 11 goals during a protracted 26:30 scoring drought in the first half from Cornell to take an 11-3 advantage into the intermission at Schoellkopf Field, the cushion serving as the basis for the Great Danes rollicking 19-10 victory over the Big Red in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The loss ends Cornell's season at 10-6 while Albany improves to 16-2, the Danes winning their last nine games by an average of eight goals. Lyle Thompson led Albany with nine points in a three-and-six effort while Connor Fields and Seth Oakes combined for eight points to complement Thompson's fireworks. Matt Donovan and Connor Buczek each had three points in their final games for Cornell.
The first 30 minutes set the tone for the game. Cornell raced out of the gates, depositing two tallies past Blaze Riorden on the team's first two possessions. The quick hits from the Big Red came in the contest's first 2:09 and potentially signaled an aggressiveness from Cornell that would mitigate Albany's nuclear-powered attack, but the Great Danes were loathe to permit such circumstances to come to fruition. Albany responded to the Red's hot opening with 11 straight markers, the rush starting with an Adam Osika bucket at the 7:58 mark of the first quarter and ended with a Thompson bullet with just 2:50 remaining in the first half. The Great Danes were riding a rocket ship in the game's first 30 minutes, scoring on over 73 percent of their estimated 15 offensive opportunities over the first two quarters while shooting 37.93 percent. Cornell, contrastingly, could not find its purpose on the offensive end of the field, finding twine on only 15.79 percent of its 19 first half shots, a deficiency in accuracy that contributed to an estimated offensive efficiency of just south of 18 percent (also impacting the team's overall offensive efficiency was a turnover rate -- estimated at 29 percent -- that exceeded the team's goal-scoring and shooting rate). Riorden contributed to the Red's offensive woes, holding a 75.00 save percentage in the game's first half hour.
The domination that Albany exhibited in the first half was somewhat unexpected given the relative competitiveness between the two teams. The Great Danes were favored in advanced metrics over the Big Red, but the difference between Cornell and Albany illustrated the Danes as a light favorite. The second half was reflective of the anticipated relationship between Albany and Cornell -- the Great Danes held an 8-7 advantage in the second half -- but massive damage had already been inflicted on the Big Red before the second half presented a clearer picture of the overall competency of both teams.
|Estimated Possession Margin||-5 (33)||+5 (38)|
|Estimated Raw Offensive Efficiency||57.58||26.32|
|Raw Offensive Shooting Rate||37.25%||21.74%|
|Estimated Turnover Rate||39.39||39.47|
|Team Save Percentage||66.67%||48.65%|
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