April 10, 2007

Men’s Lax Prepares for Orange

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In 1989, alternative rockers R.E.M. released a hit song called “Orange Crush.” Tonight, the men’s lacrosse team will look for an Orange crush of its own as it travels to Syracuse for a non-league match at the Carrier Dome. The No. 1 Red will look to win its ninth straight game and remain unbeaten this season.
Cornell (8-0, 3-0 Ivy) is coming off a 15-6 win over Harvard on Saturday. Senior Henry Bartlett led the way with four goals, and junior John Glynn added two goals and four assists. Sophomore Rocco Romero and junior John Espey each notched a pair of scores to help the Red to victory.
“I am hoping that our guys do come out and kind of rein it in a little bit as we head towards Syracuse,” said head coach Jeff Tambroni. “I think we are very confident in our opportunity to have success, but understanding that it has got to be the right way.”
No. 18 Syracuse (3-5) has had an up-and-down season after coming into the year as the No. 2 team in the country. While it does have a win over then-No. 2 Georgetown on its resume, the Orange also has five losses, including a defeat at the hands of then-unranked Army on Feb. 23. Syracuse is coming off a 12-8 loss to Princeton last Saturday, a game in which it could not recover from an early 4-0 deficit.
“It is tough to prepare for a team like Syracuse,” said head coach Jeff Tambroni. “They have an aura around them regardless of their record because of the facility they play in, because of their past success and certainly because of the talented athletes that they have on their sideline. I’m not sure you could ever really get a great look at Syracuse University until you go out there and compete against them for 60 minutes.”
Syracuse is led by junior Mike Leveille, a preseason first-team All American who currently leads the team with 12 assists and 25 total points. The Orange also boasts junior Steven Brooks, whose 15 goals rank first on the team. Sophomore Dan Hardy is second to Leveille with 21 points, and sophomore Kenny Nims trails him with 18.
“Playing against a team like Duke [on March 20] is certainly going to be a game we will look back to [to prepare for Syracuse] in terms of the kinds of athletes they have, the kinds of weapons that are available,” Tambroni said. “We have to make sure we are prepared for that environment, for the type of team that [Syracuse is] capable of being versus the record they are carrying into the game.”
On defense, Syracuse senior Steven Panarelli usually defends the opposing team’s best attackman. This season, he has picked up 27 ground balls, and has recorded a goal and an assist. Between the pipes, sophomore Peter Coluccini has started every game for the Orange, posting an 11.08 goals against average and a .471 save percentage.
“Especially down the stretch, Syracuse is a huge team, and they are a huge threat to us,” Glynn said. “They are standing in our way right now, so it would be nice to validate that.”
“[Syracuse is] a higher-ranked team than some of the others that we played, so obviously, a win would be great and help us and make us look better,” said senior Ethan Vedder.
Syracuse faced controversy earlier this season after three of its players were arrested in two separate incidents. On Feb. 15, sophomore Sean McGonigle was arrested for assault and on March 11, sophomore Patrick Perritt and junior John Carrozza were arrested for disorderly conduct.
Last season, Syracuse edged Cornell, 12-11, at Schoellkopf Field. Senior David Mitchell and sophomore Max Seibald each netted a hat trick and Joe Boulukos ’06 added two more tallies. Senior co-captain Matt McMonagle saved 10 shots in the losing effort. Perritt notched three goals to lead the Orange. Cornell last beat Syracuse in 2005, topping the Orange 16-14.