March 2, 2010

M. Lacrosse Takes Down Canisius

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So you spent the weekend wishing you had adequate snow boots, were victim to the drive-by effects of a TCAT plowing through leftover slush, and you got hit by a snowball outside of Johnny O’s (or got hit by one!). But spring is here. No, really –– in the world of athletics, it is. The men’s lacrosse team is ushering in “spring” with another win, this time in yesterday’s game at Buffalo against Canisius (0-2-0). The Red (2-0-0) racked up nine points compared to the Golden Griff’s six. And don’t two wins offer a little bit of hope that Schoellkopf will eventually thaw?

“I don’t think we played our best lacrosse,” said head coach Jeff Tambroni, “but we slipped in a win.”

Canisius came into the game having just lost to No. 17 Harvard, 16-6, Saturday. The team boasts two All-Americans in junior midfielder Adam Jones and junior attackman Nick LoCoco. Jones finished last season ranked third in the nation in goals (2.75 per game), while LoCoco cinched an equal national ranking for assists (2.38 per game).

The Griffs showed their strength in the second quarter as Canisius sophomore Simon Gioumetakis enabled senior Mike Benzinger, who was at the crease, to fling a high one past Red freshman goalie AJ Fiore. An additional two goals by Canisius junior Adam Jones gave the Griffs their first, and only, lead of the matchup, 3-2.

The Red took swift action and within one minute the score was tied, thanks to Ritchie’s second goal of the game, made from a 12-yard distance and assisted by sophomore Rob Pannell. The next four goals would also be courtesy of the Red, and this run secured the team’s victory.

Cornell was able to take the lead after Max Feeley caused a turnover, lining Thomson up to seize the loose ball, since Griff senior Dan Coates had just crossed midfield. Thomson passed to Pannell who passed to Hurley, and the score went to 4-3 in favor of the Red.

This was followed up by a move by sophomore Roy Lang, who split a pair of defenders on his way to securing a goal. The joint effort of Hurley and Pannell then brought the team two more points at the beginning of the third quarter. Pannell assisted Hurley with the first, and Hurley then returned the favor making it a 7-3 game. Pannell’s goal was no surprise as he has scored a point in every game of his career, giving the sophomore the 13th longest scoring streak in the nation.

The Griffs got one last goal in before the conclusion of the third, but the Red’s two goals in the final quarter secured it the win.

The Red has never lost to the Griffs, with this being their seventh meeting. This was, however, the first time Canisius went down on its own turf.

“This is the first opportunity we’ve had to travel to Canisius rather than having the luxury of playing on our own turf… For a young team to travel three hours and then have to play, I think it made it a little more daunting,” Tambroni said.

This Saturday the team plays its first home game of 2010 and will face off against Army. The past four games between the two have been decided by an average 1.5 points, with last year’s highly-physical game ending in the Red’s favor, 9-8.

In reference to the upcoming game, Tambroni emphasized the team‘s anticipation.

“I’m expecting the seniors to get the rest of the team excited. It’ll be our first home game and against a very tough, very quality team,” Tambroni said.

A win will continue the laxers’ undefeated home-streak from last year and mark a centennial win for Tambroni. After last year’s stellar run, Tambroni was named the US Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association’s Coach of the Year.

Original Author: Chyanne Eyde