It may have been the exact way the men’s lacrosse team wanted to kick off its season. But despite surrendering four goals in the waning moments against Fairfield Saturday afternoon, Cornell held on to defeat the Stags, 10-9.
“It was a win,” said new head coach Jeff Tambroni, who earned his first. “But it certainly wasn’t a pretty win.”
Having defeated Fairfield 15-9 last year, Cornell (1-0, 0-0 Ivy) displayed a visible let-down in its offensive luster, which has suffered from the graduation of Sean Steinwald ’00. While senior tri-captain Andrew Schardt scored four goals and junior Galen Beers had three, Tambroni was willing to acknowledge that the Red had to depend on the pair for much of the team’s offensive production.
More importantly, however, was the defensive lapse at the end of the contest that nearly cost the Red its entire cushion. Leading 10-5 with 9:21 remaining, Cornell watched four goals go past junior goaltender Justin Cynar, the last coming with only 8.5 seconds on the clock.
“I don’t think our guys quit,” Tambroni explained. “But I don’t think we had the mentality to put them away.”
Schardt opened the game with two early scores, only to have Fairfield (1-2) strike back with three consecutive goals. After Schardt brought the game to 3-3 with 6:09 remaining in the first half, Beers and freshman Andrew Collins each scored to give the Red 5-3 advantage going into the half.
Goals by senior tri-captain David Key, sophomore Scott Lee, and Beers, in the third period, allowed the Red to extend its lead despite a pair of scores by the Stags.
Beers and Schardt scored once each in the fourth to give Cornell just enough breathing room in order to weather Fairfield’s four-goal onslaught near the end of the game.
“Schardt and Beers had a good day on offense,” Tambroni said.
The Red outshot the Stags 39-25.
Cynar, who was an All-American honorable mention last year, made 12 saves in the win.
“If it’s any typical goalie, he had an OK day,” Tambroni commented. “For Justin, we expect a little more.
“Justin will be extremely critical of himself.”
With Colgate paying a visit tomorrow, Cornell will clearly have to learn from its experience this weekend.
“I did think that we have some things we have to clean up,” Tambroni said. “But it’s always easier to teach lessons when you win.”
Archived article by Shiva Nagaraj