By halftime of Cornell's record-setting 34th straight college lacrosse victory yesterday, Dr. Milton Eisenhower, president emeritus of Johns Hopkins University had his team's problem well in perspective.
"No teamwork," said the brother of the late President.
The 16-11 final margin does not indicate how Cornell dominated this game between the nation's top two Division I lacrosse teams. It was 10-6 when Eisenhower spoke and it was during a stretch the Bluejays would go scoreless for more than 23 minutes.
When Hopkins managed to score again, they cut the margin to 13-7.
No. 1-ranked Cornell achieved the record victory with a fierce checking defense and with offensive control that enabled the Big Red to shoot better than 50 percent for more than three quarters of an extremely physical game. In lacrosse, 30 percent shot accuracy is considered good.
In contrast, Hopkins' goalie Mike Federico did not have a good day and the Bluejay offense was centered around midfielder Bob DeSimone and attackman Mike O'Neill.
DeSimone took too much of the scoring responsibility upon himself. He shot 18 times today, only one successfully and many of the wild, hope variety. Hopkins took 57 shots, but most of them were ineffective or off goal.
"We feel bad about losing," said Hopkins Coach Henry Cicoarone. "But the players know, deep down, that if we play a little smarter, we can do a good job against them."
Despite his assessment, Cornell appeared a much superior team, if for nothing else because of its quickness and teamwork.
For instance, when Big Red goalie John Griffin would venture out of the crease to challenge a Hopkins shooter, two defenders would block the goal area. Cornell was credited with four saves in that manner.
On offense, unlike Hopkins, Cornell worked for the good shot. Steve Page converted five of six and finished with six points. Bob Hendrickson, the game's top scorer with seven points, hit three of his four shots. Ned Gerber made four of six.
Cornell took advantage of its extra-man situations, scoring four goals in 6 1/2 minutes. Hopkins did not, scoring only two in 11 minutes. In fact, Hopkins failed to score on a two-man advantage early in the fourth quarter.
The two-man difference backfired so badly that it turned into fast-break goal for Gerber and a 14-8 Cornell advantage in the second minute of the fourth quarter, leaving the overflow crowd of 13,000 at Homewood Field and the Bluejays knowing there would no miracle comeback by the home team.
The vital victory did not surprise Cornell's Chris Kane, the best lacrosse defenseman in the country.
"I though we'd blow them out," he said. "We're the best team that ever played the game. No one else did that, did they?"
Then he yelled, "34, go for more."
A teammate corrected him.
"Thirty-four more," he said.
Then the Big Red players threw Richie Moran, their coach, into the shower.