The Cornell men’s lacrosse team continued Ivy League play over the break, losing to Penn the first weekend but picking up a win against Dartmouth this past Saturday. The Red (4-4, 1-2 Ivy) has five more games left in the regular season, including three more against Ivy opponents.
During the first weekend of break, the Quakers got off to a fast start, outscoring the Red, 6-0, up until the very end of the second quarter. Cornell got on the board late in the half, going into the break, 6-1.
The Red picked it up in the second half, outscoring the Quakers, 5-3. Six different players accounted for the Red’s six goals, but the strong team effort wasn’t enough to overcome Penn’s strong start.
“After the game, [head] coach [Matt Kerwick] made sure we knew that how we played against Penn wasn’t Cornell lacrosse and that we had to have a great week of practice in order to bounce back against Dartmouth,” said freshman attackman Anthony Teixeira.
And bounce back they did.
A hard, focused week of practice culminated in the team’s first conference victory of the season against Dartmouth and instilled confidence in the team going into future Ivy League play, according to Teixeira. The Red never trailed against the Big Green and finished off the 19-4 victory with ease.
“We worked hard in practice this week preparing for Dartmouth, and the team spent a lot of time together away from the locker room since we had a good amount of free time,” Teixeira said. “Of course, we all wish we played better against Penn but we got back to work and focused on the next game instead of worrying about the past.”
Head coach Matt Kerwick emphasized the importance of sticking to “Cornell lacrosse” and how that was lacking in the Penn game.
“We pushed the team hard this week after a disappointing effort in the first quarter at Penn,” he said. “We challenged the guys to respect our tradition and play Cornell lacrosse from the start. It is a standard of our program to bring a high level of competitiveness and energy everyday [and] it paid off in our effort at Dartmouth.”
Teixeira had an excellent break, picking up a goal and an assist in the Penn game and a career-high three goals and two assists in his first ever start against Dartmouth.
“He is a goal scorer and has great game sense,” Kerwick said of Teixeira. “We have lacked that this year so I was happy to see his success.”
Teixeira missed the fall and early season with an injury and is just getting used to the intensity of college lacrosse.
“Everything moves faster in college and there’s less room to make mistakes,” he said. “You have to be sharp every day.”
Teixeira seems to have transitioned nicely, given his play over the break, and will certainly be a key force in the Red’s lineup going into the remaining five games of the season.
“We know that if we keep playing to our potential, we can beat anyone and make a run in the playoffs,” Teixeira said. “Personally, I just want to continue doing my part and hopefully everything else will take care of itself.”
Sticking to the idea of “Cornell lacrosse” will be essential, according to Kerwick.
“Our goals are simple, keep putting great practices together and focus on us,” Kerwick said. “Our next two are on Schoellkopf and we look forward to playing our best lacrosse down the stretch.”