February 24, 2006

M. Laxers Open Season at Home

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A part of men’s lacrosse head coach Jeff Tambroni’s thoughts Wednesday afternoon were on sophomore Khaliq Gant of the men’s basketball team, who suffered a serious neck injury during practice on Jan. 24. Tambroni was heartened by Gant’s spirit, optimism and determination throughout his entire ordeal since then and was composing a handwritten good luck note to send to Gant.

The coach’s other thoughts were geared towards the Red’s first regular-season game of the year tomorrow afternoon, when it hosts Binghamton at Schoellkopf Field.

“I think if you end the season the way we did – in disappointment – you’re that much more excited to get on the field, to start to get the following year going again,” Tambroni said. “It doesn’t erase the past year, but it really brings a new perspective into the new year.”

The disappointment Tambroni is referring to is the Red’s heartbreaking, 11-8, loss to Duke in the NCAA quarterfinals last May. However, the climb to the postseason will especially be difficult for the defending Ivy League champions this season, as the squad lost 11 players to graduation, including three of its top-4 point scorers.

Because of this turnover and with his less-experienced players forced to learn on the fly, Tambroni said his team, which has been ranked as high as eighth in preseason polls, has matured rapidly in the last month – playing scrimmages in past weekends against Colgate, Johns Hopkins and Loyola.

“I don’t think we’re there [in having a solid team identity] by any stretch, but we’ve competed well against some pretty good teams