April 27, 2001

Men's Lax Wraps Up Ivy Schedule at Brown

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In what could almost be considered an anti-climactic affair, the men’s lacrosse team will travel to Providence, R.I., tomorrow at 1 p.m. for its final Ivy League game of the season.

Although the conference title looked to be well within its reach last Saturday, Cornell (7-4, 4-1 Ivy) surrendered six unanswered goals to No. 1 Princeton in the second half, eventually losing the unoffcial Ivy championship game 7-4.

Last week’s result renders tomorrow’s contest meaningless, in terms of Ivy ramifications. Even if the Red wins and the Tigers fall to Dartmouth, Cornell will earn a share of the league crown, but Princeton will snag the automatic NCAA bid thanks to the tiebreaker.

But if the Red wishes to make a case for itself to claim an at-large berth to the postseason, it will have to convincingly win tomorrow.

“The challenge is to play hard again,” said head coach Jeff Tambroni, adding that his team will have to stick to its game plan.

For the first time all season, the team spoke about its NCAA aspirations after the defeat to Princeton.

Earlier this season, “I thought it was a distraction,” Tambroni noted, alluding to his team’s tight-lipped policy on the NCAAs. He added that the team has no choice other than to play well tomorrow because it is “under the knife.”

All season, Tambroni and his coaching staff have stressed a one game at a time approach to the season. At no point this year will that dogma ring truer than tomorrow.

Cornell’s offense, which had been steamrolling opponents since the start of the Ivy campaign, came to a stand-still against the stifling Tigers offense. It was outshot 49-21 by Princeton. Even groundballs and faceoffs — the Red’s bread-and-butter — went into Princeton’s column.

“[The offense] has to get better looks at the cage,” Tambroni prescribed tomorrow’s gameplan.”

Brown is coming off an 18-2 hammering of city rival Providence last weekend. But that result may deceive the Bears true strengths and weaknesses.

With a veteran backfield that consists of two senior and one junior defensemen and a senior goalie, Brown should pose a hearty challenge to Cornell’s scoring hopes.

“They have a talented and motivated group of defensemen,” Tambroni said. “Brown chases on defense for 60 minutes.”

But Brown’s offense may end up being its downfall. Due to injuries, the Bears sport a very young, inexperienced attack. However, Tambroni warns that Brown’s youth on offense may by deceptive.

“They’re going to be more patient,” because they have played with each other for a year, he explained.

“It will be a tale of two ends,” Tambroni added.

Archived article by Shiva Nagaraj