March 28, 2008

M. Lax Aims to Reverse Penn Curse

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Much to the Red’s chagrin, the Philadelphia curse of William Penn does not seem to be working in its favor. Usually it is the Philly teams, including college squads, that seem to have a pattern of losing.
Somehow, however, the Red has lost to the Quakers at Franklin Field, twice in the last five years. Tomorrow, the Red is intent on reversing this vicious cycle and clinching its second Ivy League victory.
“We are expecting a really confident group because the last two times we’ve been down to their field at Franklin Field they’ve beaten us both times,” said senior co-captain John Glynn. “They are really strong this year and they are going to be really excited to play us. “We had some success against them because last year we really took it to them, so we are expecting them to be ready to play us especially at their field.”
Heading into this weekend with six consecutive wins, the Red feels that it is starting to play as a cohesive unit. With the benefit of team bonding over Spring Break, the squad is working on bringing a lot of energy and exuberance to Franklin Field.
[img_assist|nid=29200|title=Leif frog|desc=Sophomore midfielder Leif Paulson (49) makes a break for it in the Red’s midweek Ivy tune-up win, 12-5, over Binghamton at Schoellkopf Field on Tuesday.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“We are trying to bring back the chemistry we built off the field and turn it into more production on the field, especially in the way we execute, and more passion in the way we play,” said senior co-captain Danny Nathan. “One of our weaknesses right now is in practice, because we have a couple good days and then we drop off, so we are trying to get more consistency in practice as whole team.”
With the knowledge that Penn has defeated Yale and Harvard in the past three weeks, the Red spent a lot of time preparing for a team that is already 2-0 in the Ivy League.
Although the Quakers have had difficulty maintaining a big lead this season, they boast a strong attack led by junior Craig Andrzejewski and junior Alex Weber — as well as the seventh-best face-off man in the country, sophomore Justin Lynch.
“Our attitude is always an aggressive attitude,” Nathan said. “Just try to throw the first punch out there. I’ve played at Franklin Field once, and they are the only Ivy League team this senior class has lost to, so we are looking to change our ways of the last couple years and leave Cornell a better place than we found it.
The importance of tomorrow’s match-up cannot be overstated for the Red. Every game could be a deciding factor in the Ivy League and even one loss can make the difference between bringing home a championship or nothing at all.
If practice this week is any indication, the team is prepared to come out strong and maintain its push for a victory throughout the entire contest. Of course, it would also be helpful if good old Billy Penn decides to curse the Quakers instead of the Red this season.
“We learned a lot about ourselves from the prior game against Yale when we didn’t play our best,” said junior co-captain Max Seibald. “Day-in and day-out we are just going to grow as a team and hopefully bring that mentality to game day. Hopefully we’ll bring that excitement and hard work to our second Ivy competition against Penn.”