April 25, 2010

Men’s Lacrosse Upset in Last Home Game

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Despite outshooting its opponent throughout the contest, the men’s lacrosse team was unable to maintain a lead at Schoellkopf Field on Saturday afternoon. The No. 8 Red was upset, 13-10, by Ivy League opponent Brown in front of a crowd of over 2,000 people. From the beginning, the Red (8-4, 3-2 Ivy) seemed to be having an off day as the team lost all seven face-offs in the first quarter. Still, Cornell managed to score almost half of its goals during this time. The Red entered the second quarter up, 4-2, over the Bears (7-5, 3-2 Ivy). Despite gaining the lead over the course of the first quarter, this opening segment of the game witnessed significant struggle with possession time –– a theme present throughout.“Possession time was very key in that game. Brown did a good job of keeping possession of the ball,” said senior co-captain and attackman Pierce Derkac.As the game progressed, Brown picked up its aggression and was able to surpass Cornell, entering the halftime period up, 7-6. Even as the Red’s play improved for the rest of the game –– specifically in the fourth when Cornell almost recovered from a five-goal deficit –– the Bears stayed in their own system and managed to beat out the Red. The visiting team had both more turnovers than the Red and had excellent goaltending skills.   In addition to the possession time issues, Derkac mentioned how the team was not playing its best in the offensive department.“We should’ve made some other decisions on offense,” he said. “I think we wasted chances at times and sometimes forced shots rather than waiting for the right opportunities.”Leaders in the game for the Red included sophomore attackman Rob Pannell, who was credited with four goals and two assists, and Derkac, who managed eight ground balls and two turnovers for the team in the defensive department.After the results of the game became a reality, the players were not pleased.“We were obviously disappointed,” said senior midfielder Austin Boykin. “Brown has always given us trouble in the past and we had eight solid days to prepare for the game against them but unfortunately we fell short.”While the team did not play its best, there were definitely still some positive aspects of play from them during game. Offensive play, for example, was great when it existed –– but just that: when it existed. Boykin noted that it was very difficult to generate offensive play, as the defense often had trouble getting the ball to the offensive end of the field, again noting back to the problem of possession time that came up for the Red in the game.Derkac agreed with Boykin’s disappointed sentiments. What was especially upsetting for this co-captain was the fact that the loss came on such an important day for the team, as it was the last home game of the regular season, thereby making it Senior Day, along with the presentation of a plaque honoring Mario St. George Boiardi ’04. Since the conclusion of this weekend also witnessed the Sixth Annual 21 Run in honor of Boiardi’s memory, a lot of alumni were present to watch the team, hoping for its victory.“We walked off of the field knowing that we didn’t accomplish what we wanted to do,” Derkac said.What was most surprising was that the team was not as enthusiastic as it normally was and definitely not as much as it could have been with the idea of playing before yesterday’s run. “The energy during the game against Brown was definitely lacking. It was a big weekend for us,” Boykin said. “The energy should’ve been there but for whatever reason it was lacking.”With the loss, the team now heads into the next game against Princeton with a do-or-die attitude. Winning in New Jersey will enable a share of the Ivy League title and entrance to the Ivy League tournament. Losing in Princeton could be the end of the season for the men’s lacrosse players.“I would say that our destiny is in our own hands,” Derkac said.Boykin expressed that the team will be working arduously at practice this week to prepare for the game. In terms of the Memorial Run, the team was pleased to see that despite the poor weather conditions, many donations were given –– more, in fact, than were given during the event last year. The proceeds will be given to The Family Reading Partnership of Ithaca, promoting child literacy along with the memory of Boiardi who, as both Boykin and Derkac described, was the true essence of the style of the Cornell Lacrosse Family.

Original Author: Reena Gilani