Four days after posting its biggest win thus far this season, the men’s lacrosse team (2-2, 0-1 Ivy) will face another big test tomorrow, as it hosts No. 15 Penn State at noon on Schoellkopf Field.
Tuesday, the No. 20 Red came out much stronger in the second half against Canisius than it had at any other point in its young season. Hanging on to a 7-5 lead going into the third quarter, Cornell erupted for an 11-0 run that lasted into the fourth quarter. When it was all said and done, Cornell totaled 12 second-half points en route to a comfortable 19-6 win.
“I think the guys just came out in the second half and made the decision to be more unselfish,” said head coach Jeff Tambroni. “There wasn’t any change in the Xs and Os. Our guys just said enough’s enough.”
In the game, junior Andrew Collins scored two goals and added four assists for a game-high six points. Sophomore Sean Greenhalgh led all scorers with five goals. In addition, eight other Cornell players scored goals with a total of six garnering assists.
That type of scoring balance will be crucial if the laxers are to succeed against Penn State (1-3, 0-1 ECAC). The Nittany Lions feature a deep, experienced midfield and a formidable defense, which will pose a serious challenge for the Red’s offensive corps.
“We’re going to see a much more competitive team in Penn State, so we’re going to need to play a lot better to create the number of opportunities we had against Canisius,” said Tambroni. “This is a team that loves to run up and down the field as much as they can. They’ll push the pace and create transition into our defensive end.”
Goalie Chris Garrity backs up the Lions’ strong backfield. The senior is one of the better goalies in Division I, as he ranked second last year in the ECAC with a .593 save percentage and a 8.00 GAA.
“He’s an extremely capable goalie,” Tambroni said, “a very skilled young man.”
However, the Red will hope to ride the momentum of Tuesday’s strong second half into tomorrow’s game.
Next Saturday, Cornell will open its Ivy season against No. 17 Yale. The Bulldogs (2-0, 0-0) have steadily improved over the last several years and appear set to be a serious challenger for the Ivy title this season.
On Tuesday, the Elis withstood a furious second-half comeback attempt by Penn State to emerge with a 17-15 win.
“Both teams put up astonishing numbers,” said Tambroni. “I can’t imagine scoring 15 goals against either one.”
Yale is led on the attack by All-Ivy honoree Mike Scaglione. The senior captain led the team with 47 points last season, including 28 goals. In the Bulldogs’ season-opening win against Drexel, he scored three to lead the team.
Goalie Roy Skeen saved a career-high 20 shots against Penn State.
“Yale has gotten better every year that I’ve been coaching,” said Tambroni. “They were the only [Ivy] team to beat Princeton last year, so they’re very tough. We’re expecting to have a bear on our hands.”
These two spring break games will be among the most crucial of the season for the Red. If Cornell is able to produce a couple of victories over the week, it will be in excellent position heading into the meat of the Ivy schedule.
“We have two pretty competitive games in front of us,” Tambroni said. “I hope the guys will buckle down and be ready for them.”
Archived article by Owen Bochner