The men’s lacrosse team (7-1, 3-0 Ivy) ran its winning streak to seven with an 11-4 throttling of Harvard in Cambridge Saturday afternoon. With the win, the Red remains the prime contender for an Ivy League crown.
After being outscored 4-2 in the opening half, Cornell posted a 9-0 shutout in final 30 minutes en route to the decisive victory.
“I thought the guys played well in the first half,” head coach Jeff Tambroni said. “Some of their shooters got some good room and time looks. I thought the difference was we came out emotionally invested in the second.”
Freshman sensation Sean Greenhalgh continued to act as a catalyst on offense, netting four goals — all coming in the second half.
“He had some chances early,” Tambroni said of the rookie. “He just stayed very composed and kept pushing. He had a great second half.”
The story of the day was the balanced attack that the Red employed. Entering the heart of the season, Tambroni had hoped to distribute playing time more broadly. The strategy paid dividends, as Cornell received key contributions from several players who don’t normally see their names in the boxscore.
Tambroni lauded the efforts of senior Collin Crawford and sophomore Michael Riordan. Crawford recorded an assist on sophomore Andrew Collins’s goal at 10:46 of the second quarter, which drew the Red to a 2-2 tie.
“We tried to use some different people. Guys have been earning it in practice. Both [Crawford and Riordan] did an excellent job,” the coach praised.
The contest started with the squads trading pairs of goals. Harvard drew first blood and earned an early 2-0 edge on tallies from Matt Primm. The offensive momentum see-sawed, with freshman Justin Redd and Collins each scoring for Cornell, before the Crimson added two more of its own heading into the intermission.
“We needed to pick up the pace and pressure,” Tambroni said of the mindset heading at halftime. “Once we did that, we started generating many more opportunities.”
And it reflected in almost all statistical categories. Thanks in part to a gritty second-half effort, Cornell finished with a 28-18 advantage in ground balls. The Red was also perfect, converting on six of six clear opportunities in the final thirty minutes.
Less tangible, but equally important to the Red’s resurgence was the standout play of the defense in the second half. Sophomore Tim DeBlois, junior Frank Sands, and senior Josh Heller all turned in particularly noteworthy performances.
Cornell’s athletic backfield enabled it to start its transition game, shutting down the Crimson at one end of the field and opening the floodgates at the other.
Junior J.P. Schalk netted the equalizer less than four minutes into the third quarter and from there the Red never looked back.
Cornell, despite limited opportunities showed some new looks on the man-up unit, which went two for three on the day. The Red erased both of Harvard’s man advantages.
No. 1 Syracuse will visit the East Hill tomorrow for a 5 p.m. contest with the laxers.
Archived article by Gary Schueller