Men’s Lacrosse Seeks to Build Off of Strong 2013 NCAA Tournament Performance

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Updated: September 13, 2014

KYLE CLEMENZA- February 1, 2014 marks the official start to the much anticipated Big Red lacrosse season. There are many things to look forward to this upcoming season, such as unanswered questions about the team. Obviously with the departure of a hefty senior class headlined by Tewaaraton Trophy winner Rob Pannell, there will be big shoes to fill.  Among the starters from last year, there were two attackmen, two midfielders, one LSM, one defender, and one goalie that graduated in 2013.

With that being said, the Big Red will have opportunities for players to step up and take on starting roles. What returns this year at Schoellkopf from last year’s starters are top Face-off man in Doug Tesoriero (senior) who finished the season with a 58.1% faceoff percentage, a scoring midfielder in Connor Buczek (junior) who finished with 35 goals, a crafty attackman in Matt Donovan (junior) who finished with 27 goals, and tough defenders in Jordan Stevens (junior) and Tom Freshour (senior).  These established players will be good leaders to mentor those who will be stepping up this season in starting lineups.

There are many concerns this season due to the amount of attention Cornell attained from the actions in the offseason. Many question how the team will persevere through the adversity the team endured. On top of this adversity, the Ivy League is a more competitive division now than it has ever been. Even though Cornell won the Ivy League last year, Yale won the Ivy League tournament which gave them an automatic qualifier to the NCAA tournament. Surprisingly, the teams that have won the Ivy League title in the past two seasons (Princeton ’12, Cornell ’13) both have fallen to Yale in the Ivy League tournament.  Furthermore, the emergence of Penn and Harvard will make for exciting Ivy League matchups this year.  With the competitiveness of the Ivy League and the action in the offseason, it should be interesting to see how the Big Red respond.

There are some very crucial and big games this season, many which are home games. Cornell’s home opener is on February 22nd at 1 pm against Hobart.  Mark your calendars for these home exciting games, as the Big Red take on UVA on March 8th at noon, Yale on March 15th at 1 pm, Harvard on April 5th at 3 pm, and Syracuse on April 8th at 7 pm.  All of these games were decided by two or fewer goals last year, and should be great games to watch.  Another interesting matchup this season will be against the University of Michigan.  For the first time in program history, the Big Red will travel to Ann Arbor and take on the Wolverines on March 1st at 1 pm.

Cornell will end its regular season against Princeton on a neutral field March 24th in Bethpage, NY.  After the regular season, the team will hopefully play in the Ivy League tournament and compete for the automatic qualifier awarded to the winner of the tournament.  From there, the Big Red may have the opportunity to play in the NCAA tournament and try to win a championship title.

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