Cornell University 22 @ Princeton University 33
Week 2 of the Ivy League Rugby Championship Series 2009. After last week's unlucky loss to Brown, Cornell came out fired and determined to get back to winning ways. They quickly put Princeton on the back foot and Freshman Scrum-half Adam Webb scored by going on the blind-side of a ruck in the 5th minute
With the momentum of a quick try behind them, Cornell continued to pressure and remained camped in Princeton's half. Other tries should have followed but the rush to score hindered Cornell and chances were left wanting. Princeton eventually got back into the game and scored a try mid-way through the half. With the score tied at 5-5 both teams continued to test each other, although Cornell seemed to have the upper hand.
In the second half the game sprung into life as Princeton scored two quick tries to jump out to a 19-5 lead after a few Cornell players had to be replaced due to injury. Cornell again proved why they are not a team to be considered lightly as they stormed back into the game through a powerful crash by Senior Co-Captain Carlos Arbelaez. Sophomore Fly-half Matt Mullery converted bringing the game to a 19-12 score line. A few minutes later, Junior Julius (Caes) Simonelli broke Princeton's line and ran the ball 70 meters to slide under the posts and bring the score to 19-19 after another conversion by Matt Mullery. A little while later Cornell then retook the lead through a penalty by Matt Mullery.
With the score now 22-19 in Cornell’s favor, Cornell continued to try and push forward and wrap up the game. With 12 minutes left, Princeton were unfortunately given a scrum on Cornell’s 5 meter line after Cornell had thought they had grounded the ball after watching it cross the try line. A few phases later Princeton were able to just drive the ball over the line although Cornell put up a fierce resistance. With the score now 22-26, Cornell tried everything to get back the lead however some good defensive kicking by Princeton kept the Big Red at bay. In the last minute of the game, Princeton’s offensive kicking again paid off as they were once again able to just cross Cornell’s try line after a lineout resulted in Princeton’s forwards just doing enough to dot the ball over the line under a pile of bodies.
Although the final score ended up being 22-33 it was a game that could have seen either team take home the spoils. The tears on Cornell’s side after the match showed how much they wanted this win and the unlucky nature of competitive sports sees Cornell fall to 0-3 but if the heavens had wanted it, they could just have easily been 2-1. This was a game where Cornell proved their mettle and can be proud of the way they played. As always, Cornell is an extremely young team and is quickly showing everyone are a worthy competitor to anyone in the Ivy League and not a team to be taken lightly.
BROWN • COLUMBIA • CORNELL • DARTMOUTH • HARVARD • PENN • PRINCETON • YALE