March 7, 2001

M. Lacrosse Opens Home Campaign

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After a disappointing letdown in the waning minutes of Saturday’s season opener against Fairfield, a bit of rivalry may be just what the doctor ordered for the Cornell men’s lacrosse team. While today’s 4 p.m. home date with Colgate doesn’t represent the magnitude of a Syracuse or Princeton engagement, the matchup will be the squad’s first step toward earning upstate bragging rights.

The Red will be looking to distribute the offensive contributions on the squad a bit more in its second game. The tandem of senior tri-captain Andrew Schardt and junior Galen Beers accounted for seven goals in the club’s 10-9 win. With last year’s graduation of All-American standout Sean Steinwald ’00, it will be imperative that the team establishes a new set of offensive weapons.

Appearing sluggish at times, Cornell fell behind 3-2 to the Stags after the opening stanza. Despite gaining an 8-5 advantage by the intermission, the club’s defense broke down, surrendering four goals in the final 10 minutes of the contest. The lapse was attributable to a rare deterioration in form on the part of sophomore netminder Justin Cynar. He is typically a stalwart and today’s game will provide him an opportunity to regain his confidence before heading into the more formidable part of the team’s schedule.

First-year head coach Jeff Tambroni touted his squad’s tenacity before the season began and indeed the Red’s hustle cemented the triumph. Cornell owned a 38-28 advantage in groundballs, translating into 14 more shot opportunities than the Stags.

Still the team readily acknowledged the shortcomings in last Saturday’s effort.

“I don’t feel like we played to our potential,” conceded sophomore attacker Michael Egan.

The Red will need all the hustle and offensive potency it can muster against the defensively stingy Raiders. Colgate surrendered just six goals in Saturday’s loss to Dartmouth. It was picked to finish fifth in the seven-team Patriot League and returns two All-League picks from last year.

“They’re a disciplined a lacrosse team,” Tambroni said. “Their record doesn’t tell the story.

“They’re similar to us offensively. They take care of the ball.”

Today, the home side will look to exploit projected starting netminder Chris Hettler who will be making his third collegiate start.

Tambroni is particularly concerned with the Raider’s face-off man Parker Gibson who may prove to be a thorn in the side of the Red.

“[Gibson] is definitely the guy we have to defend to keep in check to be successful” the coach noted, adding, “We match up well at [the face-off circle].”

Colgate attacker Dan Grady has raised eyebrows and Cornell sophomore defender Ryan McClay will be called upon to contain him.

Today’s game was originally scheduled for yesterday. But because of the inclement weather conditions, play was not possible on the Schoellkopf turf.

Archived article by Gary Schueller