The men’s lacrosse team (2-1) will look to continue its winning ways today when it welcomes Canisius to Schoellkopf Field. The Red is coming off its best performance of the season, a 16-4 throttling of visiting University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
After less than stellar efforts against Georgetown and Colgate to start the season, head coach Jeff Tambroni finally saw the full-game intensity he was looking for against the Retrievers.
The Canisius is also coming off a 13-7 victory over VMI in its season opener. The series with Cornell is a relatively new one with the teams meeting just twice. However, the Red has dominated both contests winning by a combined 47-16 margin.
Despite Cornell’s favorite status, Tambroni believes his squad will be energized from the opening whistle.
“I am hopeful that because of the lessons with Georgetown and Colgate that it will be easy to get up for Canisius,” he said, adding, “They are capable of beating [us], but I believe if we come out with intensity and play the way we played on Saturday, we will have a decent chance of winning.”
Despite Cornell’s modest start, the team continues to excel in the strengths that brought it to the brink of an Ivy League title last season. The squad has picked up 110 ground balls to opponents ’70, a stat that Tambroni calls an “effort indicator.” Senior faceoff specialist Addison Sollog leads the charge in the category with 17, while classmates Josh Heller and Ryan McClay each have 16.
“[Ground balls] are a topic we talk about prior to every game. It was nice to see the way we handled the ball of the ground. I hope it continues,” Tambroni said.
Cornell has continued to exploit the prowess of Sollog who has won 43 of the 62 draws he has taken.
In the last meeting with the Griffins in 1998, Cornell emerged with a 23-2 win. It was the highest scoring output and largest margin of victory in 15 years.
The Cornell freshmen have also been a pleasant catalyst for the laxers. Leading the charge is Sean Greenhalgh who has recorded a team-leading nine goals through the first three games.
Unfortunately for Tambroni and his troops, Greenhalgh will likely be sidelined for the next two games after suffering a minor concussion against the Retrievers. However, classmate Justin Redd, with five tallies on the year, has scored in every contest.
The visitors sport what Tambroni termed “a big, strong, physical defense” complimented by “extremely slick sticks,” especially on the man-up.
“We can’t give them a whole lot time. We don’t want them to be able to make it a one-on-one game,” the coach explained.
Cornell will look to counter the Griffins potent man-advantage unit, with solid short-handed defense. The Red has only surrendered one man-up goal out of a possible eight. It also boasts a 6-for-11 showing on the man-up.
“[The assistant coaches] have done a great job keeping our guys educated and sharp on both sides [of special teams] and that has allowed us to enjoy success,” Tambroni said.
Game time is slated for 5 p.m.
Archived article by Gary Schueller