CJ Kirst Scores Seven Goals to Lead Cornell Past Ohio State


Sophomore attackman CJ Kirst tied Cornell's NCAA tournament single-game record with seven goals in a 15-8 win over Ohio State at Schoellkopf Field on Sunday.

The Kirst family’s May magic has carried over to 2022.

CJ Kirst, the fourth Kirst brother to play Division I lacrosse, tied Cornell’s NCAA tournament single-game record with seven goals to lead the seventh-seeded Big Red to a 15-8 victory Sunday over Ohio State at Schoellkopf Field in Ithaca, New York. Cornell (12-4) will play either Georgetown or Delaware next Sunday in the quarterfinals in Columbus, Ohio.

The Big Red trailed 4-0 after the first quarter but scored two straight before a lightning delay in the second quarter. The momentum continued afterward, however, as Cornell limited the Buckeyes to just four goals the rest of the way. All-American defenseman Gavin Adler was in lockdown mode, causing three turnovers and securing five ground balls.

Kirst scored four goals in the third quarter alone as the Big Red turned a 5-4 halftime deficit into a 10-6 lead they would not relinquish.

John Piatelli added five goals and an assist in the win, but the day belonged to Kirst — or the Kirsts, as it were. About 200 miles southeast of Ithaca on Sunday, Colin Kirst, CJ’s older brother and an All-American goalie at Rutgers, made 17 saves in the sixth-seeded Scarlet Knights’ 19-9 win over Harvard.

Perhaps the most memorable moment of the 2021 NCAA tournament came when Lehigh, featuring U.S. U21 national team member Cole Kirst, played Rutgers, featuring Connor and Colin Kirst. Their late father, Kyle, was a goalie at Rutgers and an integral member of the New Jersey lacrosse community as a coach before he died of a heart attack in 2015. Their mother, Michelle, with her divided devotions got nearly as much airtime on ESPN as anyone on the field.

Now CJ has a place in the Kirst family’s college lacrosse legacy. A sophomore attackman, Kirst missed the 2021 season along with everyone else in the Ivy League due to the pandemic. He’s Cornell’s second leading scorer with 49 goals and 22 assists (71 points) this season.


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