February 28, 2007

Men’s Lacrosse Handles Rival Colgate

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The men’s lacrosse team received a spark from an unexpected source yesterday as sophomore face- off man Tommy Schmicker scored the first two goals of his career, both on face-offs. His tallies helped Cornell top Colgate, 16-6, in a game in which Cornell overcame a 3-2 Colgate lead early in the second quarter.

“It is a great feeling [to score],” Schmicker said. “I really concentrate on getting the ball to the offensive end and give it to guys like [senior Eric] Pittard, who do most of the scoring, but obviously it is nice to get on that part of the stat sheet.”
[img_assist|nid=21719|title=Survey the field|desc=Senior midfielder Brian Clayton (24), who had an assist against Colgate yesterday, looks to dish in the Red’s 19-4 win over Binghamton on Saturday.|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=66]
Pittard led Cornell with four goals and two assists, adding to his team-leading seven tallies on the year. Junior John Glynn added two goals and three assists; he now has 11 total points on the season after missing all of last season to injury. Senior David Mitchell also added three goals, and sophomore Max Seibald notched two goals and an assist for the Red.

Cornell out-shot Colgate by a 47-20 margin and had a 41-27 edge in ground balls. At the face off “X,” Schmicker added to his two goals by winning 18-of-26 face offs.

“[Dominating face-offs] is not something that we are accustomed to,” said head coach Jeff Tambroni. “We thought Tommy did a great job. Colgate was 75 percent coming in, and I can’t remember the last time we were over 50 percent, so it was nice to see that. Not only did he win and secure possession, but he got a couple of goals for us offensively and seemed to have a lot of poise at the face-off ‘X.’”

Cornell opened the scoring three minutes into the first period when sophomore Rocco Romero fed Pittard, who was left wide-open to the goalie’s left. The attackman caught the pass and put it past Colgate goalie Tim Harrington to put Cornell on top. The Red would add to its lead when Glynn picked up a ground ball and ran down the field with a Colgate defender on his heels. He found Mitchell streaking alongside him, who shot it past Harrington for the team’s second goal. “Our offense has been making that one more look,” said senior co-captain Mitch Belisle “From the defensive end, it looks real pretty, and I think it makes it a lot easy for them.”

Colgate soon regained the momentum though, as it scored two straight goals in a span of 30 seconds late in the first quarter. Freshman Ian Murphy and sophomore Brandon Corp scored for the Raiders to tie the game up, 2-2. After sophomore Kevin Colleluori scored his first goal of the night, Clarkson took its only lead of the game.

From 5 minutes into the second quarter to 2 minutes into the third, however, Cornell scored six straight goals to take an 8-3 lead. Glynn got the scoring going with his first goal of the game. Senior Brian Clayton picked up a ground ball and fed it to Glynn, who was waiting to Harrington’s right. Glynn beat the goalie to tie the game back up at 3-3. The Red would regain the lead 3 minutes later when Pittard passed it to Seibald, who rocketed the ball into the net from 20 yards out.

Three minutes later, Pittard faked out a Raider defender with a spin move behind the net, then came back around and slipped the ball by Harrington. Glynn closed out the half with his second goal of the game to give Cornell a 6-3 halftime lead.

“Sometimes you are an assist guy and sometimes you are a goal-scorer,” Pittard said. “The way the game was going, I was in the right place at the right time, and overall our offense played unselfish lacrosse. We are getting a lot of assisted goals.”

Cornell wasted no time getting back on the scoreboard in the second half when Schmicker won the face off, received a pass from sophomore Matt Moyer, and fired a shot that Harrington could not stop. The tally was Schmicker’s first career goal and point. A minute and a half later, Cornell capitalized on a Colgate failure to advance penalty. Seibald took the ball, ran down the field and fed Pittard, who netted his third score of the contest. After Raiders senior Brendan Hurley ended the Red’s run off a pass from junior Matt Lalli, Cornell responded with two straight goals from senior Henry Bartlett, a goal from junior John Espey and Pittard’s fourth score of the game.

After Colleluori scored his second goal for Colgate, Schmicker took the face-off and without any help this time, scored his second goal.

In the fourth period, Mitchell scored twice and Seibald added a tally while Hurley scored his second goal of the game for Colgate.

Lalli, who was named first-team All-Patriot last year, was held to only one assist and no goals. Belisle was mostly responsible for covering the attackman.

“Trying to keep [Lalli] away from the goal was a challenge, but I had a lot of help from the defense,” Belisle said.

Cornell was also able to overcome the play of Colgate defender Colin Hulme, who was also named first-team All-Patriot last season.

“We tried to keep [Hulme] away from the ball,” Tambroni said. “He covered David Mitchell so that was kind of an uncharacteristic role for him, but we didn’t go after him that much, which was to our benefit.”