March 8, 2004

Hoyas Overcome M. Lax

Print More

Though the men’s lacrosse team entered its Saturday game against No. 11 Georgetown ranked tenth in the country, its standing will likely drop after the Hoyas handed the squad a crushing 14-4 loss in Washington D.C. Georgetown outplayed the Red from the start of the game, scoring the contest’s first eight goals while allowing Cornell only one before the half. The Red’s last stand, a three-goal effort in the second half, proved ineffective, as Georgetown tacked on six more scores of its own to close the match. With the victory, Georgetown’s record improved to 1-1, while Cornell’s fell to the same mark.

“We came out, and things didn’t go our way right from the beginning,” junior attackman Kevin Nee said about the team’s frustrating loss. “We had to play catch up for the rest of the game.”

Added head coach Jeff Tambroni, “We were disappointed with our play, with the way we competed, and, more than anything else, with the result. But I’m still confident in this team, and I believe in them.”

Nee, who led the Red in scoring with two goals, was the bright spot of the team’s lackluster offense. His first score — also the first for Cornell — came just 42 seconds before the end of the first half, saving the Red from leaving the field with a doughnut on the scoreboard.

“The goal was just a nice toss from the middies,” he said. “They found me at the crease, and I just put it in.”

Down 8-1 heading into the locker room at halftime, the Red knew it had a rough climb ahead to get back in the game. During its chalk-talk, Cornell made some adjustments but decided to stick with its original gameplan, only executed better.

“We knew we had to just pull together as a team,” Nee continued. “We knew we had dug ourselves a big hole, but we also knew it wouldn’t be impossible to get out of it.”

Unfortunately for the Red, the hole was too deep and Georgetown, too good. The Hoyas did not waste no time jumping in right where they left off: in Cornell’s end of the field near the goal. Neal Goldman continued the Hoyas’ scoring trend into the second half, popping one past the Red’s goalie, Brandon Ross, only three minutes into play.

“We had a lot of trouble stopping them. It was a combination of their good defense and our poor job on offense,” continued Tambroni. “When they got the ball, they out-hustled and outplayed us.”

But Cornell’s squad got on the board midway through the third quarter when Junior Sean Greenhalgh took a pass from senior Andrew Collins and hit the mark with 6:41 left on the period clock. Greenhalgh, usually the Red’s offensive leader, managed only two shots on goal throughout the game — a clear indication that the Hoyas’ defense had effectively shut down Cornell’s O.

“Their defense did a great job,” said Nee. “We couldn’t control the ball, and we couldn’t get any rhythm.”

The Red found a chink in Georgetown’s mortar in the remaining minutes of play, however. A Hoya penalty gave the Red a 30-second man advantage, and Collins capitalized the opportunity with his second assist of the day: a dump to sophomore Joe Boulukos, who put the ball in for the score. Nee also notched another goal in the fourth quarter, a helper from the stick of freshman Brian Clayton.

Neither score mattered, however, as Georgetown continued its onslaught with five more goals to close the game. A total of eight Hoyas scored, and seven more had assists throughout the day.

The loss turned the tables quickly for the Red, which last week upset a talented Hofstra squad on Long Island. Cornell lit up the scoreboard 14 times in that game compared to only four on Saturday.

“They played better than we did on this day,” added Tambroni. “They took away Collins and Greenhalgh, and Boulukus didn’t have enough opportunities to score.”

The laxers lagged behind Georgetown in other key statistical categories as well. On the center line, the Red managed to win only seven of the game’s 22 faceoffs, and Georgetown collected more than twice as many groundballs as Cornell, out-scooping the team 47 to 20. And, while the Hoyas peppered Cornell goalies Matt McMondale and senior Brandon Ross with 49 strikes, Cornell’s offensive units only put 18 shots on Georgetown’s net.

In spite of the loss, the team knows that its season is two games young and that it must move on in order to move up.

“We can’t do much about the game now,” Nee said. “Right now what we need to do is come to practice focused and work hard to prepare for next week’s game against Stony Brook.”

Concluded Tambroni, “We’re just going to come out and practice harder. Last week wasn’t very inspiring. The guys have to know that if we’re going to have success on weekends, it has to come from practice during the week.”

Archived article by Everett Hullverson