March 4, 2002

M. Lax Opens With 8-5 Defeat

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With 4:05 left in the third period, senior midfielder Galen Beers of the men’s lacrosse team scored Cornell’s third goal to tie No. 7 Georgetown (2-0) 3-3. However, the Hoyas answered with three unanswered goals to overwhelm the Red 8-5 on Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood Field.

Despite a close 12-11 loss in last weekend’s scrimmage against Hopkins, the lacrosse team came out to a slow start Saturday in its season opener. The Hoyas outshot the Red 32-7 in the first half and 47-31 overall. After nine months of preparation, Cornell didn’t come out with the same intensity it hoped to have against a team that eliminated them from the 2000 NCAA tournament.

“We just didn’t have the ball. They probably controlled the ball 27 out of 30 minutes in the first half,” head coach Jeff Tambroni said. “We just weren’t playing in our own offensive end.”

In fact, the Red had trouble clearing the ball out of its own zone, getting ground balls and finding an offensive spark throughout most of the half. The Red completed four of its seven clears, and was outhustled for ground balls, 15-3.

“Basically we weren’t doing the fundamental things,” Tambroni explained. “We weren’t getting to the right spots on clears, and not getting ground balls.”

Still the Red only trailed 2-0 going into halftime, due to senior netminder Justin Cynar’s solid play in the cage. The first team All-American made 11 of his 13 saves in the first half to keep Cornell within striking distance.

“Justin was Justin Cynar,” Tambroni said. “It is spectacular, it is not out of the ordinary, it’s what we expect of him. He kept us in the game.”

And that was the mentality of the Red as it readied itself for the second half.

“There was disappointment [going into the locker room], but as poorly as we played, we were still only down, 2-0,” Tambroni said.

Beers scored 25 seconds into the third quarter with help from sophomore middie Andrew Collins as the Red mounted a comeback. Freshman Sean Greenhalgh teamed up with classmate Justin Redd to tie the game up halfway through the quarter. Steve Dusseau and Beers alternated goals to even the game again at 3-3.

But Cornell could not escape into the fourth quarter tied as Georgetown assumed a 4-3 advantage with 13 seconds on the clock. From that point Georgetown widened its lead to 7-3 with 8:13 remaining in the game.

Greenhalgh scored his second and Redd notched his first collegiate goal to lessen the Red’s deficit to 7-5, but Cornell’s scoring ended there and Georgetown’s Mike Hammer added his second of the day to finalize the score at 8-5.

Tambroni did take positives from the loss, such as the play of some of the freshmen:

“I was pleased with the play of Justin Redd. It was nice to see him get off to a good start,” he said.

Georgetown scored twice on the extra-man advantage as the Red committed six penalties.

“We play an aggressive style of lacrosse,” Tambroni explained, “I’m not going to get upset when we foul. We had to play a little more physical. We had to generate a spark somehow on the field.”

However, Cornell returned to Ithaca with an agenda. Number one on the list — playing the entire game.

“We need to play 60 minutes as much mentally as physically,” Tambroni said. “There was a whole lot of pain in that locker room … we wish we had that first half back.”

The Red has a chance to even its record when it faces Colgate tomorrow. The team travels to Hamilton for a 4:00 p.m. game.

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