All season, the No. 3 men’s lacrosse team (11-3, 5-1 Ivy) had been dogged by inconsistency, often playing an exciting and dominant brand of lacrosse, but at times making mistakes uncharacteristic of the team’s talent and national ranking. With its 10-9 upset loss to then-No. 9 UMass in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on May 13 at Schoellkopf Field, the Red showed far more of the latter style of play, marking a disappointing end to its promising season. Faceoff losses, unsuccessful clears, sloppy turnovers and a lack of ground balls scooped doomed the Red to its third straight year without a Final Four berth.
“I guess just overall, we’re obviously disappointed that our season comes to an end now, but not disappointed with the way our guys competed,” Tambroni said. “[It was] just uncharacteristic of our team, we thoughthat today, some of the turnovers we had down the middle of the field. I thought the game was won and lost in between the 30s.”
Although Tambroni noted that the team had accomplished a great deal considering it had been given the “rebuilding year” tag by many at the beginning of the season, the team was thoroughly disappointed when Andrew Recchione’s 20th goal of the season with 2:34 left in the contest decided the game.
Faceoff losses did in Cornell, with UMass’ Jake Deane, who came into the contest winning 61.4 percent of face offs, taking 17-of-23 decisions against the combination of Ivy League Player of the Year Joe Boulukos ’06, sophomore Ivy League Rookie of the Year Max Seibald and classmate Tommy Schmicker.
“When you look at the stats, they’re all fairly even except that one so it was a huge factor in the game,” said UMass head coach Greg Cannella. “We had 19 turnovers but any time they scored, it seemed like we got the ball back and any time we scored, it seemed like we got the ball back. So I thought it was a huge factor and I give Jake a lot of credit for that.”
UMass also won the ground ball category, 38-27, including holding a 24-14 advantage in the second half, categories the Red have held advantages in all season against opponents. Cornell was 13-of-16 in clear attempts and turned the ball over several other times, failing to register any significant offensive momentum despite out-shooting the Minutemen, 38-32.
“We definitely played hard, that’s one thing we did consistently throughout the game,” said attacker Derek Haswell ’06. “But we missed chances to pick up ground ball opportunities or catch balls coming over the midline that we just didn’t make.”
The sour note to the end of the season did not spoil the accomplishments throughout it, however, as Cornell’s successful play and the players who created it were rewarded with league and national honors at season’s end.
Haswell earned Scholar All-American honors for his outstanding performances on and off the field. Mike Pisco ’06 (46 ground balls) and Boulukos were selected to participate in the 65th annual North-South Senior All-Star game as a member of the Division I-II North team.
Cam Marchant ’06 and senior goalkeeper Matt McMonagle were named to the 2006 ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District Men’s At-Large Second Team. Co-captain Marchant was the top short-stick defensive midfielder on second-best defensive team in nation, posting a 3.91 grade point average while double majoring in American Studies and Spanish Literature. McMonagle had a stellar season in the cage for the Red, earning second-team All-American recognition, and ranking second in the nation with a 5.73 goals against average and third in the country with a .625 save percentage — all while posting a 3.48 grade point average as a Physics major.
Boulukos was named a co-winner of the Lt. Donald McLaughlin, Jr. Award as nation’s top midfielder along with Virginia’s Kyle Dixon. The team’s co-captain in 2006, Boulukos finished his career tied for 10th in Big Red history with 89 career goals and 17th overall with 124 career points and earned first-team All-American honors.
Seibald earned second-team All-American, and seniors Mitch Belisle and David Mitchell (43 goals, nine assists) received honorable mention recognition.
Belisle, Boulukos, Mitchell, McMongale and Seibald were first team All-Ivy selections, giving Cornell exactly half of the spots on the first team. Seniors Eric Pittard and Ethan Veddar were named to the honorable mention All-Ivy team, while Pisco and Haswell were named to the second-team.
For the second consecutive year, a men’s lacrosse alumus was selected in the Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft, with Boulukos going the Chicago machine as the 16th overall pick. The Fire traded Boulukos to the Philadelphia Barrage, who subsequently traded him to the Baltimore Bayhawks.