It had been three years since the Ivy League competed in the NCAA men’s lacrosse tournament. This year, it made its way to the title game.

In the first semifinal at Fairfield Univertsity-hosted Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., No. 7 Cornell (14-4) pummeled No. 6 Rutgers (15-4) of the Big Ten, 17-10, in a game that lasted almost six hours from the opening faceoff.

There will not be an All-Ivy final as Princeton fell to undefeated Maryland, 13-8, in the nightcap.

The game marked the first time Rutgers advanced to championship weekend. Entering the season, the program was 0-7 in quarterfinal games in the NCAA tournament. Last weekend, the Scarlet Knights punched their ticket to the semifinals with an 11-9 win over Penn.

“I’m going to remember this year as the best year of my life. We’ve accomplished a lot. In moments like this, you can forget what you’ve accomplished over the whole season,” Rutgers captain Ryan Gallagher said. “I think we’ve set a new bar for the program that our team can get back to this weekend again. I’m thankful to be a part of it.”

Rutgers’ Mitch Bartolo started strong and gave his team a 1-0 lead early in the first quarter. Within 3 minutes, 30 seconds, Cornell took a 2-1, and didn’t lose it for the remainder of the game.

Despite similar shot numbers throughout the first period, Cornell goaltender Chayse Ierlan posted a .700 save percentage across seven shots. His performance helped the Big Red to an 8-3 lead after the first 30 minutes. All eight Cornell goals were unassisted and five possessions that led to goals came from ground balls or turnovers.

Storms in the area extended halftime from the traditional 15 minutes to almost four hours. During the break, players reviewed film, snacked on what was supposed to be post-game meals, and prepared their equipment for the second half.

“I thought Coach [Connor Buczek] had a good message — we’ve had a lot of stop-and-go throughout our careers,” Cornell attacker John Piatelli said.

The second half finally started at 4:45 p.m.

Well rested, Cornell continued its solid pressure and netted six unanswered goals in the third quarter, including three consecutive tallies from Piatelli. The third-quarter hat trick, along with goals in the first and fourth quarters, powered him to a five-goal, six-point game. His performance on Saturday gave Piatelli 65 goals, a program record for goals in a single season.

A three-goal run from the Scarlet Knights in the fourth quarter was too little too late as the Big Red cruised to the finish.

“Give Cornell a lot of credit. Their attack is very dynamic. They’ve got a lot of tradition, and certainly played well today,” Rutgers coach Brian Brecht said. “I don’t know if we played the best Rutgers lacrosse today that we needed to, to have success.”

The Big Ten avenged the Game 1 defeat.

Fueled by a four-goal performance from attacker and Tewaaraton Award favorite Logan Wisnauskas, Maryland (17-0) made its way to a second straight championship game with the victory over Princeton (11-5).

The Tigers fought the Terrapins every step of the way, but couldn’t come out ahead of the best team in Division I. Between a stellar passing game and goalie Logan McNaney’s 19 saves, the Terps cruised to a wire-to-wire win.

Over the last two seasons, Maryland has only lost one game: the 2021 title to Virginia. Cornell will try to pull off an upset in the final game of the season on Monday at 1 p.m.