The battle-tested men’s lacrosse team has faced off against a diverse range of teams so far, from local rival Colgate to nationally ranked UMBC. At this juncture in the season it turns its attention to its conference.
“We need to now put our focus on the Ivy League,” said head coach Jeff Tambroni as he leads his team into the second week of Ivy play. Tomorrow Cornell (3-2, 1-0 Ivy) plays Penn (3-2, 1-1) in New Canaan, Conn.
The Quakers haven’t forgotten what Cornell did to their team last year and will clearly want redemption. The Red pounded on Penn to forge a 16-7 outcome after a defensive break down in the second half.
But Tambroni is fully aware of the rivalries within the conference, and he expects the Quakers to strike out with vengeance.
“They’re going to play with a chip on their shoulders,” he said.
The Penn defense doesn’t pose as much trouble for the Red as does its potent offense.
“They have the strongest attack that we’ve seen so far,” stated sophomore defenseman Ryan McClay.
Penn has already lost its first league game against the same Yale team that Cornell beat 13-11 last Saturday. But the Quakers won last weekend when they hosted Harvard.
The key for the Red is to play consistently. Fairfield, UMBC, and Penn State all staged comebacks against the Red. The most recent, though, came the Elis last weekend in New Haven, Conn.
The Red jumped out to an early lead against Yale, closing the first quarter 8-1.
“It was a great sign to come out in the first quarter and score eight goals,” Tambroni said. “It brought us back to the Cornell lacrosse that we’re accustomed to.”
But that lacrosse was abandoned after the opening stanza closed. The Red couldn’t continue its pace as it was outscored 10-5 in the following 45 minutes, including a scoreless third quarter.
“It was a nice lift, but it was also a bit of a letdown,” McClay commented on the dual nature of the win.
Even after the scoring dearth, the offense showed as much life last weekend as it has all season. Six different players scored goals in the effort. Sophomore Michael Egan had his first four of the season and was rewarded with Ivy League Player of the Week honors in return. The strong performance form Egan adds an extra dimension to the attack which formerly featured senior tri-captain Drew Schardt, junior Scott Lee and freshman Ben Spoonhower.
The midfield also contributed steadily to give the Red a balanced scoring threat. The problem vexing the team is just maintaining it for 60 minutes.
“The key to play within the conference is to play for four quarters,” confessed McClay.
Tambroni agreed: “We just need to need to clean up some of the unsettled scoring that is going on.”
Archived article by Amanda Angel