SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Once again, the Carrier Dome got the best of the men’s lacrosse team. Although the No. 13 Red (5-3 , 3-0 Ivy) got on the board just 1:43 into the game, it was the last time it would hold the lead as No. 3 Syracuse answered and upped the Red a minute, and then three minutes later, en route to a 13-8 win last night.
“When you’re playing against a team like Syracuse, they make it look so easy and we were working so hard to generate shots and try to chip away at [their lead],” explained head coach Jeff Tambroni.
Syracuse head coach John Desko noted his frustrations with the Red for slowing the Orangemen’s game down, saying, “I thought that Cornell did a good job of getting the tempo back. We weren’t able to keep the tempo going like we wanted to, and I thought that they were very patient and did a nice job with that.”
The game was characterized by missed opportunities as the Red fired off 43 shots, but was unable to beat junior keeper Jay Pfeifer, who recording 16 saves.
“I felt like we just didn’t shoot the ball very well today,” said Tambroni, “and that’s to the credit of Jay Pfeifer. I thought he did a great job; he was extremely composed, confident, I never felt like he was rattled.”
Senior tri-captain J.P. Schalk opened the night’s scoring when he took the ball from sophomore Justin Redd and drove down the right side and fired a shot from ten yards out, beating Pfeifer high.
The team almost upped the score to two when junior Andrew Collins found sophomore Sean Greenhalgh cutting to the front of the crease, but the ball bounced off Greenhalgh’s stick. This trend was to continue all night.
Syracuse took possession and worked it up field putting the ball in the pocket of junior Sean Lindsay. Lindsay, the high scorer for the Orangemen, ran down the righthand side and took a behind-the-back bounce shot to beat junior goalie Brandon Ross three minutes in. Lindsay finished the night with four goals and two assists.
Syracuse took the lead that it never relinquished at 8:31 when junior Mike Powell scored on man up from 15 yards out after junior Alex Zink fed him across the field.
The two teams continued to go back and forth for the remainder of the period and after a low scoring second period, the squads headed into the half at 6-3.
Showing the immediate spark it had in the first half, Cornell scored just over a minute into the third period after Syracuse’s Matt Bontaites was called for pushing. Collins set up behind the crease and hit a cutting Greenhalgh, who came straight down the middle of the lane beating Pfeifer high.
Cornell continued to put the pressure on and capitalized on its man up after Powell was called for unsportsmanlike conduct. Sophomore Kevin Nee hit Collins, who was tangent to the crease. Collins fed it right back to Nee, who fired a shot that brought the score to within one.
“I don’t really think they were doing anything,” explained Powell of Cornell’s run. “I think a lot of it was us. We turned the ball over for almost two quarters and never really got a solid offensive run. When they are scoring and we’re turning it over that’s not a good blend.”
Despite the two successive man up goals, Cornell was only able to finish on two of ten attempts on man up.
Tambroni said, “I looked at the first four extra mans that we had. I think we generated a good shot in every one of them, and I looked at the coaching staff and said, ‘we’re 0-4 on extra man, and it’s killing us.’ It was killing us to that point because those are the opportunities that you need to capitalize on against Syracuse.”
The rest of the game was the Syracuse show as Lindsay netted two more and Powell finished three.
“I feel like the heart and the hustle was there today, but I just didn’t think that we made the plays we needed to stay in the game with Syracuse,” said junior defenseman Tim DeBlois. “We just couldn’t seem to get that extra goal, get that extra stop or ground ball that we needed to climb back into the game.”
Defensively, Syracuse’s Springer was held scoreless on a strong defensive effort by senior tri-captain Ryan McClay. Along with McClay, the back battled all game with DeBlois picking up Powell. The return of sophomore Kyle Georgalas, who sat out the Harvard game with an injury, was also a spark as was the play of senior Frank Sands on the defensive midfield. In net, Ross finished with eight saves.
“At the beginning of the game we came out a little flat and it showed, unfortunately,” said Ross. “The second and third quarter I was gaining confidence. I think our defense really picked it up too. I just think that some of them fell through that I wish I could have gotten back.”
Archived article by Kristen Haunss