With Spring Break here, the men’s lacrosse team is just beginning conference play, as it plays host to Yale in its first Ivy League game of the season. Looking past last weekend’s loss to University of Virginia, Cornell (4-1) is hoping to dominate conference play early this season.“We have been working very hard after a disappointing weekend, and this game is really important to us because it is our first Ivy league game of the season and will be played at home on our field; both are very motivating factors. Yale is a great team that will be a huge test to start off the Ivy season,” said junior Jonathan Thomson.The Red will have to use the lessons it learned in the loss to counter Yale’s up-tempo style and avoid getting off on the wrong foot in Ivy play.“We were exposed in many ways in this weekend’s game, and we are working on fixing those weaknesses as well as enhancing the aspects we feel we do well. Yale has a similar style to ours, so [we] know what we need to do. We just have to execute our game plan,” said senior captain Pierce Derkac. Now, the Red is reenergized with a desire to win and maintain control of the all-time series with the Bulldogs — Cornell currently holds a 42-23-1 lead. In addition, Cornell has won the past 10 contests against Yale, including last year’s 15-8 victory, in which the Red scored 10 goals in the second half of the game.“Yale is a very talented team that has been doing very well this year. Yale’s a team on a roll, and they are a motivated group that will be looking to knock us off for their first win against us in ten years,” Derkac said.Unfortunately for Cornell, No. 17 Yale (4-0) is coming off a string of victories after defeating nationally ranked UMass, 13-12, which brought the Bulldogs into the media spotlight, in addition to their latest victory over Lehigh last weekend. Yale boasts an effective offense and stout defense, after returning six of its top 10 scorers from last season.Matt Gibson leads the Bulldogs with 17 points on nine goals and eight assists, while Brian Douglass has scored a team-best 10 goals. In goal Jon Falcone has played the entire season amassing a 7.28 goals-against average and a .534 save percentage.In addition to being an important game for conference play, this match-up also serves as a time for the Cornell Lacrosse program to honor fallen Cornellian George Boiardi.“March 17th, six years ago, George Boiardi passed away on Schoellkopf Field representing Cornell and playing the game he loved. It is a great reminder to our entire team about how the Cornell Lacrosse teams of the past have built a great program in which we now carry the torch. We are working our hardest each day to uphold the brand of Cornell Lacrosse that has been instilled in this program for years,” Derkac said. As the season continues, the Red expects to see its diligence and perseverance pay off as it works to amass its first conference win this season.“We have a very focused and detailed mindset right now heading into this weekend’s game. It is our first Ivy League contest of the season, and we take all Ivy League games very seriously. No matter who it is, Ivy League games are always a dog fight,” Derkac said.
Original Author: Jill Mendelsohn