Skip to content
Home » Sports » College » Cornell Big Red » Dooley’s first-career goal lifts Cornell over Princeton

Dooley’s first-career goal lifts Cornell over Princeton

Plenty of firsts came for the Cornell men’s lacrosse came out of Princeton, N.J. Sunday afternoon, perhaps none more significant than sophomore defenseman Matt Dooley’s first-career goal with 1.6 seconds left in the game. No. 88 took a leading pass from Kyle Smith and buried the first shot of his career in the back of the goal, capping off a 15-14 Cornell win. The Big Red moved to 4-2 on the season and 1-0 in Ivy play, while Princeton dropped to 4-3 (0-1 Ivy).

Freshman Ryan Goldstein led all attackers with five points in his first collegiate appearance, scoring a hat trick and adding two assists. Spencer Wirtheim followed with four assists. Hugh Kelleher matched Goldstein’s goal total at three. Michael Long and AJ Nikolic followed with two goals apiece. CJ KirstRyan Sheehan, and Willem Firth rounded out multi-point scorers, each notching a goal and an assist. Marc Psylloswent 14-of-28 at the faceoff X, scooping a team-high eight groundballs.

Princeton’s Chad Palumbo and Sean Cameron led the Tigers’ attack with three goals and an assist each. Tucker Wade also clocked four points, all of which came off goals. Nate Kabiri, John Dunphey, and Coulter Mackesy rounded out the multi-point scorers, each with a goal and an assist. Andrew McMeekin went 18-of-31 at the faceoff, and grabbed a game-high 13 groundballs.


  • Princeton found the net first, just 42 seconds into the first quarter, but the Big Red fell into rhythm, first with a goal by Spencer Wirtheim on a feed from Hugh Kelleher.
  • The teams traded goals again, with AJ Nikolic tallying his first career goal on a feed from senior CJ Kirst with 4:36 remaining in the quarter.
  • Cornell tacked on two more to close the quarter with a 4-2 lead.


  • A 4-0 run to open the quarter built the Big Red’s lead to six, but a 6-0 Tigers’ run in the final 5:46 knot the game at eight at the halfway point.


  • Princeton carried its momentum to the second half, scoring 38 seconds into the third quarter, and tacking on another to take a 10-8 lead five seconds later.
  • The Tigers got out to a four-goal edge before CJ Kirst got the Big Red back on track with his first goal of the day 5:12 into the third quarter. The goal was the first in a 4-0 Cornell run that included Ryan Goldstein’s first two collegiate goals, both unassisted.
  • The Cornell ride and faceoff game kept Princeton without an offensive possession for a 6:45 stretch, and the defensive effort forced a shot clock violation on the final Tigers’ possession of the quarter, bringing up a 12-12 tie after 45 minutes.


  • Princeton found the net twice in the first 6:25 of the final quarter, pulling out to a 14-12 lead.
  • Goldstein put away the hat trick with 5:20 remaining to tie the game at 14 and cap a 2-0 Cornell response.
  • A timeout with 33 seconds left gave Princeton the last drawn-up play of the game, but Luke Gilmartin forced a turnover by Nate Kabiri that Kyle Smith scooped off the ground. A leading pass do Matt Dooley connected off the bounce, giving the sophomore a look at goal with 1.9 seconds remaining. The defenseman buried the shot, sealing the win for Cornell.


  • Freshman goalkeeper Matthew Tully made his first career start, tallying 12 saves.
  • First-year AJ Nikolic notched his first and second collegiate goals in the outing.
  • The Big Red attack gave Princeton netminder Michael Gianforcaro his worst save percentage of the season (42.3 percent).
  • Goldstein caused two turnovers on the ride.
  • The Cornell ride held the Tigers to 19-of-27 on the clear, just a 70.4 percent success rate, good for the lowest percentage of the season.
  • The Big Red is now 4-1 all-time on St. George’s Day (March 17).


Cornell is back to the field next weekend when the team returns home to host Yale on Schoellkopf Field. Faceoff is set for 12 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN+.