The men’s lacrosse team will put its unbeaten Ivy League record on the line when it welcomes Dartmouth to Schoellkopf Field tomorrow at 3 p.m. The No. 7 Red (6-2, 2-0 Ivy League) will matchup with the unranked Green (4-3, 1-0) in a battle of two teams unbeaten in Ivy play in the season thus far.
The Red has hit a midseason stride — having won three consecutive games against quality opponents. In its last matchup, Cornell escaped with an overtime victory against the much-improved Penn Quakers, 13-12, last Saturday at Schoellkopf. After the Red lost a five goal lead in an action-packed second half, junior midfielder Roy Lang’s overtime goal off an assist from senior attackman David Lau gave the home team the win and pushed Cornell into first place in the Ivy League.
Even with the emotional win, the Red recognizes that there are lessons to be learned from the near-stunning loss to the Quakers last week.
“We really didn’t close in on our opportunities,” said senior midfielder Jack Dudley. “The final score was definitely rewarding and any Ivy League win is a great one, but at the same time there is a lot to learn from [the Penn game].”
Although the Red has dominated the all-time series against Dartmouth, the Green got the better of Cornell in its last matchup. On April 3, 2010 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. Dartmouth came away with a big upset, 8-6, win over Cornell — snapping a streak of 12 consecutive losses to the Red.
“We take every game extremely seriously,” Lau said. “Last year they came out ready to play and had a big win over us.”
“We definitely respect Dartmouth,” added senior midfielder Jack Dudley. “Every Ivy League game is an important game for us.”
Dartmouth has had somewhat of an up-and-down season thus far, but is coming into the contest off a strong win with good playing experience against elite teams. After losing badly to lower ranked Mercer and Holy Cross earlier in the season, the Green played well on the road against Duke and UNC — finally breaking out with a win over a ranked team at home last Saturday against No. 17 Harvard.
The Green has a powerhouse bench with junior attackman Kip Dooley leading the Dartmouth offense with 18 points on the season and a team-high 11 assists and freshman attackman Jeff Perkins and junior attackman Drew Tunney tied with a team-leading 12 goals each. Defending the net is goalkeeper Fergus Campbell with a 10.8 goals-against average and 70 saves on 236 shots faced.
As Cornell works its way through its conference schedule and tries to find its rhythm, the players are focused on improving their mistakes while staying true to their brand of play.
“I think as the season goes along you definitely find your own identity as a team. I think we’re getting there, but not quite there yet,” Dudley said.