April 27, 2007

No. 1 Men’s Lax Aims for Ivy League Title

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UPS’s slogan is “what can Brown do for you?” Tomorrow, the men’s lacrosse team is hoping that Brown can be on the losing end of No.1 Cornell’s final Ivy League victory of the season. If the Red beats the Bears in its penultimate regular season game, it will clinch sole possession of the Ancient Eight crown for the second time in three years and the 16th time in school history.
“[Winning the Ivy League title] is one of the goals that we set for ourselves every year,” said senior co-captain Mitch Belisle. “To go into the game with the knowledge that we can do it is something that we look forward to. It motivates us this week in practice and will motivate us [tomorrow].”[img_assist|nid=23233|title=Mad Max.|desc=Sophomore Max Seibald (42) eludes two Princeton defenders during Cornell’s 10-6 victory last Saturday.|link=node|align=left|width=100|height=94]
Cornell (11-0, 5-0 Ivy) is coming off a 10-6 victory over then-No. 5 Princeton last Saturday. With the win, the Red clinched at least a share of the Ivy League crown for the fifth straight season. Junior John Glynn led Cornell with three goals and an assist, and seniors Brian Clayton and Henry Bartlett added two goals apiece. The Red’s defensive unit held Peter Trombino, the Tigers’ leading scorer, to only one assist. In goal, senior co-captain Matt McMonagle stopped 19 Princeton shots, matching a career high and earning him Ivy League Player of the Week honors for the second time this season. Still, Cornell still has some room for improvement before tomorrow’s game.
“Out of every game, whether a win, loss, blowout or tight game, there are things we do right and things we do wrong,” said senior David Mitchell. “In the Princeton game, we definitely did things wrong. We definitely could have played a lot better game. … At this point in the season, we are trying to play a perfect game. I know you never really can, but we want to be as close to perfect as we can. Every week we try and look at what we did wrong and try and fix it.”
Brown (7-5, 1-3) has had an up and down season, and is coming off a 14-8 victory over Hartford last weekend. The Bears started their season 4-1, but have gone 3-4 in their last seven games. During this latest stretch, Brown lost a game to Dartmouth in four overtimes, which was the longest game in Bears lacrosse history.
Brown is led by senior David Madeira, an honorable mention All-Ivy selection last year. This season, the attackman leads the team with 22 goals to go along with three assists. The Bears also boast freshman Thomas Muldoon, who has notched 21 goals and nine assists for a team-high 30 points. Muldoon also has recorded two game-winning goals this year. Senior Alex Buckley leads the squad with 13 assists and ranks third with 22 points.
On the defensive end, senior Bobby Shields has made 10 starts and has collected 23 ground balls. Cornell will also have to watch out for junior Brian Sharnick, who has started all 12 games for Brown and has picked up eight ground balls. Classmate Reed Deluca has made 10 starts and has recorded 17 ground balls.
“I think they are a very good team,” Belisle said. “They play a fast paced, up-tempo style a lot like we do. It should be a good matchup.”
At the face-off “X,” Brown freshman Charlie Kenney has won 44-of-104 face-offs, good for a .423 percentage. Sophomore Nic Bell has a 35-of-94 mark, giving him a .372 percentage.
Between the pipes, sophomore Jordan Burke has started 11 games for Brown, notching a 7.89 goals against average, which ranks third in the Ivy League. He also has a .633 save percentage, the best in the league.
“[Brown is] basically a little bit like us; they just kind of put their head down and work hard,” Mitchell said. “They really hustle around the field, and they really play aggressively. In a lot of ways, we are going to play a similar type opponent to ourselves.”
Last season, Cornell topped Brown 10-6. Mitchell, sophomore Rocco Romero and Joe Boulukos ’06 each tallied two goals to pace the Red. Madeira and Buckley notched two scores apiece to lead the Bears. McMonagle made 12 saves in goal to help preserve the victory.