April 30, 2004

Laxers Play Host to Brown on Senior Day

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The men’s lacrosse team has been the Ivy League champion 18 times in the 48-year history of the Ancient Eight. Tomorrow, Cornell can solidify its claim on No. 19, when it welcomes No. 15 Brown to Schoellkopf Field on Senior Day.

The No. 9 Red will hope to improve on its 27-15 lead in the all-time series, coming off last Saturday’s emotional overtime win at Princeton. Junior midfielder Justin Redd scored his second goal of the game 1:03 into the overtime session to give the Red its first win against the Tigers since 1995.

“I think there’s always a possibility for a defeat if we don’t do a job. I don’t think it’s going to be a letdown because of our focus not being thoroughly on the Brown Bears,” said head coach Jeff Tambroni. “This team has done a good job of letting go of the Princeton game. On Monday’s practice, I felt like their focus was directly pulling towards Brown, and this week, there’s been absolutely no mention, no film, no discussion about Princeton. We’ve tried to just pack along with us the confidence that we gained with that victory. We’ve tried to clean up the things that we didn’t do so well.”

A win tomorrow would give Cornell at least a share of the Ivy League title, which would be its second in a row. Last season, the Red tied for the title with Princeton and Dartmouth, but missed out on postseason play when Dartmouth won the drawing for the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Brown, though, will not lie down easily. The Bears enter tomorrow’s game after last weekend’s 9-6 victory against Dartmouth. The Bears have performed very well in a difficult schedule this year, also earning victories over challenging opponents such as Loyola, Massachusetts, and Yale.

“Any team that beats Loyola 14-3, regardless of what kind of year Loyola’s having, is an extremely dangerous lacrosse team,” Tambroni said. “It’s a team that handled Dartmouth fairly easily, when we went right down to the wire and beat them with four seconds left. Our guys have a healthy dose of respect. They understand what’s on the line, it’s the same thing that’s been on the line for the last two weeks.”

Attack Chazz Woodson will be the toughest challenge for Cornell. Woodson, who scored three goals in Tuesday’s victory over Providence, is an explosive scorer and one of the most athletic frontmen in the country. He leads a very capable, dangerous Brown offense.

“We think he’s the best athlete that we’ve faced all year, certainly the best athlete in the Ivy League,” Tambroni said. “At the midfield, they just bring five, six guys at you. So I think that we’re really going to have to do our job and play some defense so that one or two of these guys don’t have a breakout game and start to give us fits defensively.”

On the other end of the field, Bears goalie Mike Levin is also among the best in the nation.

“Their goalie, without question, is by far their best player. We think he’s the best goalie in the Ivy League. He’s given us fits in the past,” Tambroni said. “I think he has 37 saves in his first two games against us his freshman and sophomore years. After last year’s performance, I’m sure he’s very excited to come up here and play against us and prove it was a fluke last year.”

Levin recorded 11 saves in last week’s victory against Dartmouth. In Cornell’s 14-4 win last year in Providence, R.I. Levin saved only 11 of 25 shots on goal, and was lifted in favor of a backup with just under six minutes remaining in the game.

Prior to tomorrow’s game, the team’s 10 seniors will be honored for their service to the program. Immediately following the game, Cornell will retire the uniform number 21 in honor of George Boiardi ’04, the team’s captain who died during a game earlier this season.

Archived article by Owen Bochner
Sun Sports Editor