April 16, 2004

No. 11 Men's Lax Plays Host to Dartmouth

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Following Tuesday night’s 12-10 loss to No. 4 Syracuse, members of the men’s lacrosse team spoke at length about the team’s necessity to put the game in the past and concentrate its energies on tomorrow’s meeting with Ivy League foe Dartmouth (6-2, 1-0 Ivy). No. 11 Cornell’s concentration will be put to the test tomorrow, as it hosts the No. 19 Green in a critical conference tilt.

“I think every time after you play Syracuse, you’re either on a high or a low based on your performance,” said head coach Jeff Tambroni. “You’re on a high if you win, you’re on a low if you put so much into it and you come out with a loss, but I think that it’s important for our guys to understand that we have to drop any thoughts of a Syracuse defeat, leave it on Tuesday night’s field and move ahead because we know how capable Dartmouth is and how good Dartmouth has gotten over the past few years.”

The Red (5-3, 2-1 Ivy) enters tomorrow’s matchup having defeated Dartmouth in each of the last the last six meetings between the two teams. A year ago, nine different Cornellians scored goals, as the Red thumped the Green, 13-5, in Hanover, N.H. Then-junior Andrew Collins led the barrage, scoring seven points — including five assists — in the winning effort.

However, since that meeting on April 12, 2003, the Green’s fortunes turned, and the team won its next four conference games to clinch a three-way tie with the Red and Princeton. Dartmouth continued that streak on April 10 with a 9-4 home victory over Penn.

The Green is led on offense by the highly dangerous quartet of attacks Jamie Coffin and Tom Daniels, and offensive midfielders Ben Grinnell and Brad Heritage. The four have combined for 75 points this year, including 38 goals. Coffin has scored the game-winner in four of the Green’s eight victories this season.

“They’ve got a lot of guys now, it’s not like two or three years ago where you can say they have one guy offensively or two guys offensively — they’ve got plenty of guys offensively, if you’re not paying attention that can hurt you,” Tambroni said. “They are as good as anybody we will face in the Ivy League.”

On the defensive end, the Green boasts the stingiest goalie in the Ancient Eight, junior Andrew Goldstein. Goldstein leads the league with a 6.94 goals against average, one year after being named first-team All Ivy.

“The biggest presence on the field for Dartmouth is going to be Goldstein,” Tambroni said. “He’s done such a great job for them this year, that we’re really going to have to be selective with our shots. If he gets hot, they really play off the emotion of the goalie.”

Dartmouth is led by first year head coach Bill Wilson, who was Tambroni’s top assistant a year ago.

“Any time a coach comes from your staff to go to another staff, I think it’s difficult just because they understand our philosophy, our mindset going into games, they understand everything that we had talked about last year for our preparations going into Dartmouth,” Tambroni said. “You’re a little apprehensive because you want to game plan appropriately, you don’t want to look too much into it. It adds a little bit of height to the hurdle, but it will be exciting. I think he’s done a great job there, they’re 6-2, I think it would be a daunting task to take a team that made the playoffs for the first time in a number of years and with that high of an expectation, and I think he’s carried that program with the same speed and same direction, if not quicker, to this point.”

For the Red, senior co-captain Collins and junior Sean Greenhalgh will be looking to extend streaks of their own tomorrow. Collins has recorded at least one assist in 13 consecutive games, dating back to last season’s victory at Dartmouth. Meanwhile, Greenhalgh has scored at least one point in the team’s last 20 games.

Archived article by Owen Bochner
Sun Sports Editor