One year ago, the men’s lacrosse team was scheduled to play at North Carolina over spring break, but its plans were altered after the tragic passing of George Boiardi ’04 in a game against Binghamton just six days before the team was to embark on its trip. So, instead of a game against the Tar Heels, the team spent its break honoring its fallen teammate at a funeral in his hometown of Washington, D.C., and then continued on to North Carolina despite the game being canceled, as a way to begin the healing process.
This season, the Red also played Binghamton just prior to a scheduled spring break trip to North Carolina — the difference is that this year, Cornell will take to the field against the Tar Heels Wednesday afternoon. But, according to Cornell head coach Jeff Tambroni, the trip will be less about bringing back bad memories and more about bringing back memories of healing.
“[North Carolina] was a proven healing ground for us last year,” he said. “It was soothing for us last year, so we are actually looking forward to going back down there.”
Yet after all the emotions have passed, the Red still must prepare to battle with the No. 15 Tar Heels (1-3), who are coming off a loss to another New York-based team, Hofstra. The Pride jumped out to a 4-2 lead after the first quarter and never surrendered the lead, winning 12-8. Despite the loss, the Tar Heels got a strong effort from their All-American attacker, Jed Prossner, who tallied five goals to bring his season total to 14 in just four games.
“[Prossner’s] one of the most talented attackman in the league,” Tambroni said. “We’re definitely going to have out hands full with him.”
In Cornell’s favor this weekend will be that, the two teams’ only common opponent this season, Notre Dame, beat the Tar Heels but lost to the Red at Schoellkopf Field on March 5.
Another thing that might factor into North Carolina’s performance on Wednesday is that the team is set to take on its archrival, Duke, tomorrow afternoon. The Blue Devils go to Chapel Hill with a flawless 6-0 record and are currently the third-ranked team in the nation.
Yet, Tambroni does not believe the Tar Heels will let a potential loss in its game tomorrow linger until Wednesday.
“When the schedule first came out, that’s what we were thinking — that we can get them after their game with Duke,” Tambroni said. “But at this point, I don’t think they can afford to take a game off.”
After its game in Chapel Hill, the Red will move back up north for a date at Yale one week from tomorrow for what will be Cornell’s Ivy opener. The Bulldogs will open their Ivy season tomorrow against Penn before a game with Quinnipiac on Tuesday afternoon. Currently, Yale stands at 1-1 on the season after falling to No. 9 Massachusetts, 12-6, but bounced back by defeating Fairfield, 11-8, in Boca Raton, Fla.
Next Saturday, the Red will need to be vigilant on the defensive end according to Tambroni, as three Bulldogs — David Schecter, Brian Belsky, and Seth Goldberg — have all recorded hat tricks this season.
“They have some unbelievable talent,” Tambroni said. “And it doesn’t matter who you play in this league, there is so much parity regardless of records.”
Archived article by hris Mascaro
Sun Sports Editor