Twelve different players were credited for creating 14 goals, and junior attack Andrew Collins recorded his 100th career point during the men’s lacrosse team’s (8-4, 5-1 Ivy) 14-4 win over Brown (4-9, 1-4) on Saturday. But while the offense may have run the show, it was the Red’s solid defensive play that had everyone talking.
“I think we finally got back to just playing team defense and that was probably the biggest key to shutting them down,” said senior defender Ryan McClay.
Cornell limited Brown to just four goals off of 22 shots, despite the fact that the Bears won more faceoffs and scooped up 44 ground balls. More impressive, however, was the fact that Cornell held Brown’s All-American attack — Jon Thompson — scoreless.
“There was no one guy you could attribute that to,” said head coach Jeff Tambroni. “It was just pretty good team defensive play put in place by our assistant coaches. We knew that if Brown was going to go, it was going to go through Jon Thompson.”
By neutralizing Thompson, Cornell appeared to fluster the Bears. Still, it was during the opening moments of the game that the offensive tempo was set.
The Red first got on the scoreboard as senior midfielder J.P. Schalk fed Collins at 1:25 in the first quarter. Cornell continued its offensive outburst by scoring the game’s next three goals in the same number of minutes, only this time the defense got in on the act.
Both junior Tim DeBlois and McClay assisted on goals, and sophomore Kyle Georgealis scored one of his own during the game.
“We were able to convert on our transition opportunities,” said McClay. “Things were just falling in the right place and guys were just finishing their shots.”
While the coaching staff has typically run a more paced offense, the newfound offensive outlets were highly appreciated.
“We’ve been encouraging that for the last couple of weeks and I don’t think we’ve had a lot of success,” Tambroni said. “It was encouraging for us to see the whole progression of it. Guys like Ryan McClay, Kyle Georgealis, and Timmy DeBlois just did a great job of getting from defense to offense.”
“Anytime you can score four or five goals with your defense, it really gets your offense going,” he added.
Brown eventually ended the run as Charles Towers attacked for an unassisted goal midway through the first quarter. Dave Pittard responded for the Red, scoring three of the next five goals and assisting on another. The junior finished with five points, as sophomore Sean Greenhalgh added four and Collins had seven.
Junior Brandon Ross provided another solid performance for Cornell, working to clear the ball 19 times and making three saves. Ross also played a large role in limiting Brown’s opportunities by scooping up several ground balls.
“It started off the ground, or with Brandon,” said Tambroni of the win. “He made some nice saves, and they certainly encouraged our offense.”
With the win, and Princeton’s loss to Dartmouth, Cornell has clinched at least a share of the Ivy League title — its first since 1987. Team members also witnessed another milestone on Saturday: Collins’ 100th point.
“If you look at our team, he’s been one of those guys that’s been the overachiever,” said Tambroni of Collins. “I think he’s surprised a lot of people in the Ivy League.”
“I think he’s the kid who gets better every week and every year,” said McClay. “From last year to this year [he’s] been unbelievable. He just sees the ball so well.”
“He is without question the guy that makes our offense go right now,” said Tambroni. “It’s just a remarkable accomplishment for a junior.”
Archived article by Matt Janiga