Head coach Jeff Tambroni said that he would give his team Tuesday night to celebrate Cornell’s 15-11 win over No. 1 Syracuse. However, the coach and junior tri-captain Ryan McClay were already focusing on their upcoming game against Dartmouth in the minutes following the victory.
Although beating the Orange adds prestige to the Cornell program — only in its second year under Tambroni — the contest against Dartmouth is much more important in terms of conference standings. The Red (8-1, 3-0 Ivy) is ranked first in the Ivies. Brown is only other undefeated team in the league with two wins.
Dartmouth (5-2, 0-1), however, is second-to-last in the conference — Harvard is last — as well as being the only Ivy program not to crack the top 20 in the USILA/STX poll. The Green fell to Penn in its only conference game, 10-7.
Last year, Cornell visited Dartmouth under less festive circumstances. In its first game following the death of freshman Matthew Demaine, Cornell still came away from Hanover with a 10-5 win to remain a perfect 4-0 in the Ivy League.
Tomorrow the Red gets Dartmouth at home, where it has not loss this year. In addition Cornell is riding an eight-game winning streak, its longest since 1987. It’s defense was ranked tops in the nation entering this week. But that’s the last thing Tambroni wants to think about.
“It’s not an easy task,” he said about refocusing. “We are a very mature team. They have done a great job getting their focus back to the Ivy League very quickly. They know the importance of this game because it is an Ivy League game. It’s the biggest game on our schedule because it’s the next game.”
Dartmouth has been defensively sound this season, only letting in double-digit goals twice. Incidentally that happened in both of the Green’s losses: a 15-7 defeat to Duke and the 10-7 loss to Penn. Goalie Mike Gault has played well in the cage all season.
“Our offense knows it will be a pretty big challenge and is looking forward to it,” Tambroni said.
“They have been a team that over the last three or four years has always given us trouble,” he continued. “They are a very disciplined team defensively and very well-coached offensively. They always find ways to create shots, they have a stingy defense, and big and talented goaltender.”
On the other side of the field, the Green has only scored in double-digits against Colgate and Albany. Midfielder Ben Grinnell and attackers Scott Roslyn and Jeff Dwyer are the Green’s leaders in points.
The Red just has to continue to play the style of lacrosse that has brought it success this season: an airtight defense, a patient offense, and a hard-nosed physical style of play.
“When we play a Cornell brand of lacrosse, we can be successful. We’re hoping to get down to farm and play a blue collar style,” Tambroni said.
Cornell has benefited from its freshman tandem of attackman Sean Greenhalgh and Justin Redd. Greenhalgh, a three-time Ivy League Rookie of the Week, scored six goals against Syracuse to bring his season total to 27. Redd, a midfielder, had four of his own. The Red has also found many additional scorers in the likes of senior Colin Crawford and sophomore Mike Riordan.
“Those guys have confidence now. We are hopeful that our team takes that as a confidence boost,” Tambroni commented.
Senior faceoff specialist Addison Sollog will also be starting despite having back problems in the last few weeks.
The game begins tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. on Schoellkopf field.
Archived article by Amanda Angel