March 28, 2002

Rookie Finds Success on Lax Field

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Long before he donned a Cornell lacrosse jersey, freshman attackman Sean Greenhalgh would travel from his native St. Catharines, Ontario to the East Hill with his parents. Prodded by a family friend who worked for the University, the family began to make regular appearances at Lynah Rink. As parents Larry and Sandie watched on, they became fond of joking about the prospects of their son one day joining the Red hockey team.

Little did they think that the younger Greenhalgh would one day grace the field across the street as one of the most potent offensive weapons for the lacrosse program.

Greenhalgh wielded his first lacrosse stick at the young age of six, roughly the same time he started lacing up hockey skates. But at that point in time the latter was his primary focus.

“I used to play lacrosse just to keep in shape over the summer. I never expected to play in college,” the freshman said, recalling evening scrimmages with his father in his backyard.

Having spent the bulk of his time playing indoor lacrosse, it seemed less likely that he would continue his career in the NCAA system.

His course took a turn when he received a call from head coach Jeff Tambroni. In addition to Cornell, Greenhalgh courted offers from University of Denver and Massachusetts, as he was the leading scorer on a high school team that went to two Ontario Championships.

It didn’t take much sales work for Tambroni to convince the Canadian to make Ithaca his new home.

“The campus was like nothing I have ever been exposed to before. Everything was so nice. It was like a dream come true,” Greenhalgh said. “I’m glad the coaching staff took a chance on me.”

For Tambroni, the risk wasn’t all that great. With the loss of three attackmen to graduation, Tambroni was in dire need of a legitimate scoring threat and it didn’t take long for him to realize that he had it in the rookie.

“He had better box skills, but we loved his [them]. With his skills, and the fact that he was a left-handed shooter who could score, it wasn’t taking much of a chance,” Tambroni said.

“He has a tremendous work ethic. He was able to make an immediate impact on offense with his knack for scoring goals. He just understands shooting and goalies,” the coach praised.

And indeed it didn’t take much time before the Greenhalgh started raising eyebrows around the Ivy League and the nation. He tallied nine goals in his first three games, and his 12 goals and one assist heading into last weekend’s game with Yale ranked him fifth among scoring leaders in the conference.

Despite missing one game with a minor concussion suffered during a 16-4 routing of UMBC, Greenhalgh has tallied in each contest he has played in, including a marker against the Bulldogs. His five-goal outburst against Colgate in a narrow 10-9 victory helped preserve a needed win for the Red.

But it is not the numbers that most impress Tambroni.

“Sean is a wonderful lacrosse player, but what we like best about him is that he is a better person, and if you have seen him play, that is a big statement.

“He’s a great goal scorer, a great attackman, a great person and a great ambassador for our program. We’re extremely proud to have him represent Cornell.”

Archived article by Gary Schueller