The Cornell men’s lacrosse team is still searching for its first win of the season coming off a narrow 19-18 overtime loss to No. 13 Virginia at the Pacific Coast Shootout this past weekend. The hard-working Red will look to capitalize on a high powered offense as it faces off against Yale this weekend. Cornell will travel to New Haven on Saturday to take on the Bulldogs in its Ivy League opener.
The Red (0-4), which has won three out of its last four meetings with Yale, lead the all time series against Bulldogs (2-3), 51-22-1.
“We are similar teams,” said head coach Matt Kerwick. “We pride ourselves on playing very hard and very physical.”
This mentality is echoed by freshman face-off get-off man Paul Rasimowicz.
“It is our goal to be the hardest working team in the country,” Rasimowicz said. “We want to know that, no matter how the season goes, we gave it 110 percent of our effort along the way.”
Rasimowicz, who has been featured in all four games, will face off against Yale’s Conor Mackie in the faceoff battle.
Yale beat Fairfield University this past weekend as they edged the Stags,12-11, in double overtime. This snapped a Bulldog’s three-game losing streak, two of which they only lost by one goal.
Yale’s offense is headed by junior All-American Ben Reeves who had three goals and two assists against Fairfield. Reeves has a total of 15 points through the Bulldog’s first four games.
“They have one of the best attackmen in the game in Ben Reeves, so containing him is a key for us,” Kerwick said.
The Red has a strong attack of its own, and will look to build upon its performance against Virginia. Led by freshmen Jeff Teat and Connor Fletcher, Cornell will look to take advantage of a Yale team that has let in 10-plus goals in all but one of its games.
Against Virginia, Teat found the back of the net five times while assisting teammates for an additional six goals, giving him a total of 11 points. That was the most points scored by a Cornell lacrosse player since Tim Goldstein put up 11 in 1988.
“You could really start seeing the progress we’ve made,” Teat said. “We have been playing with each other for a good amount of time now and I think our comfortability with one another is really starting to show.”
Defensively, the Red is working hard to improve. Despite giving up a 9-4 lead over Virginia at half, Kerwick is confident the Red can respond against the Bulldogs.
“Penn State, Virginia and Albany might be three of the best offenses we’re going to see all year and it’s been a major test for our team,” he said. “We need to continue to work on our communication, getting to shooters hands, and disrupting shooters more than we have been. The team has been working incredibly hard and that will continue to build.”
Teat is also confident in the Red’s ability to learn from defeats earlier in the season.
“Playing with the same intensity and focus but cleaning up the smaller details is something we are capable of and will need to do,” he said. “We showed we can compete with the top teams so we just need to be confident against anyone we play”
The Red, feeding off an outstanding offensive performance in its last match, look poised to take down Yale in its conference opener. Action gets under way Saturday in New Haven at 1 p.m.