With its sights set on establishing itself as a perennial force in the Ivy League, and also the nation, the Cornell men’s lacrosse team barnstormed its Ancient Eight rivals in 2005, garnering an undefeated record in league play and earning its first outright league title since 1987.
Although the Red started out relatively slow, it rampaged through the competition with a dominating eight-game winning streak, including a heart-stopping 16-14 victory over Syracuse at the Orange Dome and a consummate 17-4 demolition of perennial Ivy powerhouse Princeton at Schoellkopf Field.
Earning an automatic birth into the NCAA tournament, Cornell traveled to Towson, and with 11 seconds left on the clock, then-sophomore Brian Clayton scored the game-winning goal to punch the team’s ticket into the round of eight, where it would face second-seeded Duke. In this encounter however, the Red was not so fortunate. Cornell was unable to get its offense started throughout the game and a 7-0 third quarter run by the Blue Devils nullified the Red’s late fourth quarter comeback, giving Duke an 11-8 win and sending the Ivy League champions home.
“Our staff and team members certainly look back at the 2005 season as a success,” stated head coach Jeff Tambroni in an e-mail. “We were disappointed that we did not advance into the Final Four — as it was a goal of ours — but we have measured success in more ways than wins and losses and the relationships that were formed throughout the season not only made it a very rewarding season, but also a successful one.”
Even with the team losing in the national quarterfinals for the third time in four years, there were many postseason accolades given out to the Red. Senior Joe Boulukos led a group of five Cornell players who earned USILA All-America honors, with the midfielder earning a second-team selection. Reigning Ivy League Player of the Year and active Division I career goals leader, Sean Greenhalgh ’05, earned third-team honors while defender Kyle Georgalas ’05, midfielder Justin Redd ’05 and junior goaltender Matt McMonagle were named honorable mention All-Americans. Not since 1988 has a Cornell team placed five players on the All-America teams.
In addition, Georgalas and Redd will not be far from the lacrosse field after graduation, as both were selected in the 2005 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft on June 1. Redd, who earned MVP honors during the Warrior MLL Challenge, was selected in the second round by the Philadelphia Barrage. Meanwhile, Georgalas was picked in the fifth round by the New Jersey Pride. The head coach of the Pride is a familiar face — the defender’s father, Ted.
“I believe that both of these young men will do very well if given the chance,” Tambroni said about Redd and Georgalas. “They will need to break into the lineup, but I believe that they both have enough talent, a passion to compete, and a love for the game.”
Tambroni, now finishing his fifth season with the Red, was also honored when he was selected to coach the Division I North squad at the North-South Classic on June 11. Tambroni had two familiar faces on his team in Georgalas and attackman Kevin Nee ’05. The South won the game 14-11.
“I enjoyed the opportunity to coach the North-South team with [Princeton head] coach [Bill] Tierney and learned a ton from his expertise,” Tambroni stated. “I also enjoyed having the chance to meet some of the players from the teams that we have spent the past four years competing against. I would not have traded the chance to coach our Cornell team for the team we coached at the [North-South game] regardless of the talent, but for a day, it was enjoyable and it made me realize how lucky we are to have the people that we have here at Cornell.”
Finally, defenseman Casey Stevenson ’05 was also honored for his work both on and off the field when he was named to the 2005 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American Men’s At-Large Second Team.
Archived article by Brian Tsao
Sun Assistant Sports Editor