If one looked back to the 2001 lacrosse season, one can easily find the high-water mark of the campaign. It was April 21, exactly when then freshman Andrew Collins scored three minutes into the second half against Princeton to jump to a 4-1 lead against the Tigers.
However, a late game and late season downfall had the Red losing to Princeton, 7-4, en route to losing its remaining two games.
Yet, according to head coach Jeff Tambroni, only in his second year at the helm, last year’s collapse only motivated his team to work harder in the offseason in search of the Ivy title and another bid to the NCAA tournament.
While the team has a similar complexion to its former self — centered around a strong defense and goaltending — graduation, a promising rookie class and a new coaching mentality will certainly give the Red a little different look in 2002.
The attack suffered from the graduation of two of the top four scorers on the team. All-Ivy selection David Key ’01 and Andrew Schart ’01 left a void in the offense on their departure. Number-three scorer junior Michael Egan also left the team. A few position moves, along with some incomers, will help to accommodate those losses. Former middies, senior Billy Fort and sophomore Andrew Collins, and rookie Sean Greenhalgh will be the new faces on the attack.
“Last year we had big, strong attackmen: 6-1, 6-1, 6-3. This year you’re going to see 5-7, 5-7, 5-8,” Tambroni said, adding, “I think they do a pretty good job of playing within themselves and giving us a whole lot of spark because of what they can do differently than guys from last year.”
Greenhalgh, a lefty, is already the team’s leading scorer after a five-goal effort against Colgate. Senior Scott Lee and sophomore Ben Spoonhower will both be integral parts of the offense as well.
“A lot of what we do is going to have to come from our middies,” Tambroni said.
Returning leading scorer, senior Galen Beers, and junior J.P. Schalk will be the leaders at the position. Sophomore Ian Rosenberger will add a “blue-collar” style along with highly touted freshman Justin Redd.
Boasting greater depth, there is a lot of competition for time among the middies.
Tambroni said, “[Sophomore] Doug Needham, [senior] Colin Crawford and [sophomore] Mike Riordan are all doing a really good job of allowing us to have a little more consistency, giving us a little more depth in the midfield. I think we’re going to use any combination of those guys on the second midfield as the year goes on.”
Another preseason All-American honorable mention is faceoff specialist Addison Sollog. The senior has won approximately 60% of his faceoffs during his collegiate career and will be counted on to ignite the offense.
In front of the cage is a veteran defense which proved to be one of the best in the country last year. The corps of longstickmen lost a valuable player in Bobby Werhane ’01 but is a proven group with senior tri-captain Brandon Hall, junior All-American Ryan McClay, junior Chris Viola and sophomore Tim DeBlois.
Another tri-captain and preseason All-American headlines the defensive midfield — Josh Heller. Having started every game since his freshman year, Heller is a solid defender and an asset in transition.
Three shortstick defensemen, all of whom are good athletes will help on the defense. They are sophomores George Boiardi and Doug Needham and junior Frank Sands.
Starting in goal for his fourth straight year is senior first-team preseason All-American Justin Cynar. While he is consistently good, Cynar has a penchant for performing extraordinarily in big games. His best showing last year was arguably against Princeton, and the year prior, it came versus Syracuse. Both teams were ranked first in the country at that point. Cynar allowed 10 or more goals in a game only twice last season.
Archived article by Amanda Angel