April 10, 2009

Men’s Lacrosse Hopes For Rebound Against Green

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Following a tough road loss against No. 5/5 Syracuse Tuesday, the men’s lacrosse team will be on the road again this weekend, traveling north to Hanover, N.H., for a game against Ivy competitor Dartmouth. A win would keep the No. 3/3 Red (7-2, 3-0 Ivy) at the top of the Ancient Eight standings, as well as provide a surge of much-needed momentum for Cornell before the team faces No. 2/2 Princeton and No. 11/11 Brown next week.
“[A win against Dartmouth] is definitely huge,” said senior middie John Glynn. “We’ve spent a lot of time reviewing the tape from the Syracuse game. We want to correct any and all of the mistakes we made against them.”
Dartmouth, an Ivy rival, is by necessity an important match, regardless of either team’s current record.
“We know we have to win this game,” Glynn said. “We have to get back on the right track.”
Against Dartmouth, Cornell holds a comfortable lead on the series, 43-14, and head coach Jeff Tambroni has yet to lose to the Green, maintaining a perfect 8-0 record against the Ivy rivals.
“The Ivy League is just so important to the guys,” Tambroni said. “I’m confident in the leadership, and that the guys will be prepared. I’m not saying that equals a win, but we will be prepared. We used Tuesday and Wednesday to refocus, go over our game plan — what went right, what went wrong. We would have done the same thing had we lost.”
The Red currently lead the country in scoring offense, with a 13.75 goals per game average, and is ranked second nationally in assists per game with 8.13. [img_assist|nid=36739|title=Can’t stop me now|desc=Junior attackman Ryan Hurley (26) notched a career-high nine points (five goals and four assists) last time the Red played Dartmouth.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
The Red played well at times against the Orange, but was held below its season average of nearly 14 goals per game. The game was hard on both a physical and emotional level, however, according to Tambroni.
“When you play a team like Syracuse, you pour a lot of emotion into the game,” he said. “It’s important for the guys to realize it’s 1/13 of the regular season. You have to put it behind you. It was a learning experience.”
The Red’s offense is led by junior attacker Ryan Hurley who is ranked first with a 3.50 goals per game average and by senior midfielder Max Seibald, who is top-25 nationally in goals per game and who scored a goal with an assist.
Seibald also holds the longest point-scoring streak on the team and the third-longest in the country having so far scored at least one point in the last 43 games —a steak going back three seasons. Freshman attackman Rob Pannell is No. 2 in the country in points per game and Hurley is currently ranked fourth.
High-powered attack aside, the Red will be looking to its defense to step up against the Green and create the kind of comprehensive, well-rounded package that will be needed not only to stop the Green, but the Tigers and Bears as well.
“We didn’t play a great game —offensively or defensively,” said Seibald. “We didn’t really support each other on the defensive end. On the offensive end we kind of forced things … took too many risks.
Senior Kyle Harer has started in goal for the Red this season, but he was replaced by senior Jake Myers, last year’s primary starter, in the second half of Cornell’s match against Harvard on April 28. Myers started in goal against Syracuse where he made 10 saves over the course of the 60 minutes.
The Red will not be taking its opponent lightly.
“We need to value our possession time, we need to make smarter decisions,” Seibald said. “We forced the pace, we made too many unforced errors. We did not adjust to our opponent.”
In its most recent match, an 8-4 win over Providence, Dartmouth scored five goals in the second half to break a 3-3 tie at halftime. Senior attacker and captain Brian Koch scored a game-high four goals in the match, along with an assist for a total of five points to lead his team. Classmate and midfielder Kyle Laqratta controlled 12-of-15 from the face-off X, a key point in his team’s win. In the net for the Green was freshman Fergus Campbell earned his second win of the season with five saves.
“Dartmouth is a pretty solid team all around,” Seibald said. “We know they are going to come out and be a good team. Anything could happen — every team comes out to win.”