When the men’s lacrosse team (5-2, 2-0 Ivy) began its Ivy season two weeks ago against Yale, it was still a team struggling to find itself as it worked out early season kinks.
After a 16-8 win over the Elis, followed by a 13-7 home win against Penn a week later, the No. 12 Red is rolling. It will put a four-game winning streak and a perfect Ivy record on the line tomorrow when it hosts Harvard (3-4, 0-1) on Schoellkopf Field.
“I’m hoping that we’ll be inspired to play Harvard at home,” said head coach Jeff Tambroni. “We need to do what we set out to do, and that’s just play hard.”
Coinciding with the Red’s current winning streak has been the stellar play of sophomore Sean Greenhalgh. With six goals last week against Penn, Greenhalgh has now scored at least five goals in each of his last four games for a total of 25 on the season. He has also been remarkably accurate, converting on 22 of 26 shots on goal over that period. Greenhalgh is second on the team in points, trailing only junior Andrew Collins, who has 32.
Collins has also been a primary reason for the Red’s success of late. Since moving from the midfield to the attack, he has exploded for 19 assists. His season total of 22 is fourth in the nation.
Collins, Greenhalgh, and the rest of Cornell’s much-improved attack will face a serious test tomorrow in Harvard goalie Jake McKenna. McKenna has compiled a 7.85 GAA and a .527 save percentage, in anchoring a Crimson defense that has allowed only 7.71 goals per game.
“I feel he’s their best play defensively, possibly the best player on the team,” said Tambroni. “Last year, he gave us a lot of trouble early in the game. We were only able to score two goals in the first half. We took numerous shots, and I thought we had good opportunities.”
Creating opportunities will again be key tomorrow. According to Tambroni, the Red needs to improve upon its intensity in order to make the most of its offensive chances.
“I’m hoping that we’ll come out with more emotion Saturday than we did last Saturday. I thought we played ok, but we can do better,” he said. “If we’re going to be successful, we’re going to have to take smart shots. I don’t think we’re going to have to take 50 shots to beat Harvard but we’re going to have to take intelligent shots.”
Cornell will be looking to extend a four-game winning streak against the Crimson, which dates back to the 1999 season. Last year, the Red went on a 9-0 run in the second half to win 11-4 after trailing 4-2 at halftime. Greenhalgh was the star for the Red, scoring four second-half goals in the win.
Harvard will also be looking for its first conference win of the season after falling to Penn, 8-6, two weeks ago.
“I expect that they’re going to be real excited to play Cornell here in Ithaca,” said Tambroni. “They dropped their first game to Penn, so I’m sure they’re going to be pretty anxious to get back into the win column against an Ivy League opponent.”
Game time is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.
Archived article by Owen Bochner