February 27, 2007

Red Welcomes Colgate to Ithaca

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Coming off a blowout victory over Binghamton in its regular-season opener last Saturday, the men’s lacrosse team will turn around quickly as it hosts Colgate this afternoon. While the Red won its first game 19-4, the Raiders have won their two matches by scores of 19-4 and 14-5.

In its win over Binghamton last Saturday, Cornell (1-0, 0-0 Ivy) junior John Glynn scored a career-high four goals and also notched two assists after missing all of last season due to injury. In addition, seniors Henry Bartlett and Eric Pittard scored three goals apiece and classmate David Mitchell tallied two of his own. In goal, senior co-captain Matt McMonagle made nine saves to lead the Red to victory. Cornell will try and carry over its confidence from Saturday into today’s match.
[img_assist|nid=21698|title=Catch me if you can|desc=Sophomore Max Seibald (42) bursts past a Binghamton defender in the Red’s 19-4 win over the Bearcats last Saturday. Cornell welcomes Colgate to East Hill this afternoon.|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=69]

“I think that the key is using that confidence for benefit and not letting us get over the top with cockiness,” said senior co-captain Mitch Belisle. “We have to realize that the only reason we did so well was that we played our hardest; we made one more look on offense, and got the slides where they were needed to be on defense. If we just rely on that hard work and all the preparation that went into it instead of the outcome, it will be beneficial tomorrow.”

Colgate (2-0, 0-0 Patriot) is led by junior Matt Lalli, who led the Raiders last year with 26 goals and 44 total points. He also dished out 18 assists and made first-team All-Patriot League for his efforts. The attackman has continued his strong play this year, recording three goals and five assists in two games. In addition to Lalli, Colgate relies on senior Brendan Hurley, who led the team last year with 20 assists. Classmate Jeff Hiller, who only had 12 points last year, has had a solid start to this season, already scoring a team-high five goals and notching eight total points.

“We think the world of Lalli, and he should be considered one of the best guys in Division I,” said head coach Jeff Tambroni. “Their two middies … are a great tandem, and they are very talented and very athletic.”

On the defensive side of the field, senior Colin Hulme usually guards the opposing team’s best offensive player. Last year, he was named first-team All-Patriot after recording 54 ground balls. He has eight so far this season.

“Colin Hulme on defense is as tough and physical as any guy that we are going to see,” Tambroni said.

In goal, Colgate has to account for the loss of Andrew Jarolimek. The grad uated goaltender started all 15 games for the Raiders last year, posting an 8.37 goals against average and a .536 save percentage. Over its two games this year, Colgate has started sophomore Brian Cain in one game and freshman Tim Harrington in the other. Rookie Peter Burchfield and junior Dennis Cronin have also seen time this season.

Last year, Colgate went 7-4, including 5-1 in the Patriot League, including a win over then-No. 4 Navy, 6-3. The Raiders went 5-0 in the league during the regular season, but lost in the Patriot League semifinals, 10-8, to Army.

“They have a pretty good guy at every position, and that will be very difficult because those guys lead their groups similar to the way UMass did last year,” Tambroni said. “That becomes a very dangerous team when you have a guy each position that does his job and leads by example. … They seem to know what they want to do and do it very well.”

Cornell and Colgate have not played since 2003, when the Red topped the Raiders, 8-7. Despite this gap between games, Cornell is not worried that no one on the current roster has played a regular season game against Colgate.

“I think our coaching staff does a great job in scouting, so it is not something that we are not worried about,” Belisle said. “I think that we have scrimmaged them two out of the four years that I have been here, so we have seen them on the field, but it is always good and interesting to play a team that we haven’t played. It is a new challenge, but one that we are well prepared for.”

In addition to not having played its opponent in recent years, Cornell will also have to adjust to only having two days after the Binghamton game to prepare for Colgate.

“We usually have Monday through Friday to work on our individual skills, and then the end of the week we worry about the team we are playing,” Belisle said. “With a shorter week, we have to focus on the other team right away.”