April 7, 2009

M. Lax Travels to Syracuse for Important Match

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Only three quick days after its last game, a comeback win over Harvard, the No. 3/3 men’s lacrosse team will strap its pads back on and head to Syracuse for a big matchup against the No. 6/5 Orange at the Carrier Dome tonight at 7 p.m. The Red has won five games in a row; its last loss was against Virginia, the top team in the country that held on for a 13-12 win over the Orange earlier this season.[img_assist|nid=36625|title=All eyes on you|desc=Senior netminder Kyle Harer defends the net during the Red’s 21-11 win over Penn on March 28. Harer may be challenged for the start against No. 6/5 Syracuse by classmate Jake Myers.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
One of the biggest questions for the Red (7-1, 3-0 Ivy) heading into tonight’s matchup against Syracuse (7-2) is who will start in goal. Senior Kyle Harer has started all of the team’s games this season, but allowed 11 goals against Harvard on Saturday in his worst performance of the season and was replaced in the third quarter by senior Jake Myers. Still, Harer impressed in Cornell’s win over Duke, when he made 17 saves and allowed just six goals against an offense that averages over 10 per game on the season.
“You have to evaluate based on the body of work, not just 40 minutes of play,” said head coach Jeff Tambroni.
Myers was the starting goalie in the 2008 season, posting an 8.77 goals-against average and a .527 save percentage, but opened 2009 with an injury that kept him off the field initially. He played well in relief of Harer on Saturday, stopping four shots and allowing just one goal. Myers notched a career-high 14 saves in the Red’s loss to Syracuse last season.
Whoever Tambroni taps to start in goal will have his hands full against Syracuse, a team that averages 13.44 goals and takes 42.9 shots per game, in addition to playing indoors, a venue that will be fairly unfamiliar to the Red.
“The Carrier Dome is probably the most difficult place to play for a goalie,” Tambroni said, mentioning the unique lighting and atmosphere of the Orange’s home field.
Another potential road bump for Cornell will be at the face-off X. Senior midfielder John Glynn, the Red’s top face-off man, played through a fractured elbow and won 12-of-21 face-offs on Saturday, but his status is still touch and go, depending on his pain tolerance
Syracuse lost its last matchup to No. 5 Princeton, 12-8. The Tigers scored on 38.7 percent of their shots and held the Orange scoreless for three stretches of at least 10 minutes.
Syracuse’s top two scorers, senior Kenny Nims and sophomore Stephen Keogh, are a lethal 1-2 combination at the attackman position. Nims leads the team with 18 assists on the season and Keogh has a team-high 28 goals and scores on 52.8 percent of his shots.
Despite the impressive production from its top attackmen, Syracuse is driven by its strong midfield. Senior middies Dan Hardy, Pat Perritt and Matt Abbott are Nos. 3-5 on the team in scoring, with 25, 16 and 14 points, respectively. Sophomore midfielder Josh Amidon has added 13 points.
Cornell’s midfield is also capable of high outputs, however, and Glynn thinks the game might turn on how well the two midi squads perform.
“We match up pretty well,” he said. “[It] should be a fun battle.”