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2017 Men’s Lacrosse Preview

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After coming off a tough 2016 season where Cornell men’s lacrosse posted its first season below .500 in well over a decade, Coach Kerwick and his team seem optimistic for the upcoming season. The team, which has claimed the Ivy League Champion title 13 out of the past 15 years, will be relying on its strong captains to lead the young team.

When asked why the team fell short last year, Coach Kerwick responded that Cornell has high expectations every year, with the aim to always bring home the Ivy League trophy. Anything short of that is, therefore, disappointing.

That being said, the team did have some impressive moments, including beating Syracuse and Virginia. Coach Kerwick added that the team needs to bring the same intensity that they showed in those games to the League matches.

The past two weekends have offered the team a chance to test their revamped training against New England teams in scrimmages. Kerwick was optimistic after a strong showing against Drexel University and Mount Saint Mary College. (Teams generally do not keep score during scrimmages, but Kerwick was confident Cornell dominated.) After a strong showing two weeks ago with just three practices under their belt, the team lapsed in a scrimmage against Binghamton University on February 11th. Kerwick said he “expected a little more,” especially in the offense.

When prompted about particular challenges in the upcoming season, Kerwick conceded that the offense will need the most attention. With star freshman recruit Jeff Teat on the roster, the attack experienced some rearrangement. That being said, Kerwick said Cornell will play an “unselfish” offense with lots of assists.

Although the team fell short of the Ivy League title in the 2016 season, Kerwick was confident in the team’s ability to pull through this year, saying there is “no question [they are] capable.”

When asked about particularly exciting players to watch this season, Kerwick mentioned attackman Jeff Teat, although he hesitated to put too much pressure on the freshman. With Teat, Kerwick said he “makes everyone around him better” and that players “have to be aware because if you’re open, he’ll pass to you.” He sees Teat as contributing to the “unselfish” offense the team is promoting this year.

In addition to Teat, Kerwick mentioned the impressive sophomore midfielder, Clarke Petterson, also from Teat’s alma mater, The Hill Academy. Petterson is the team’s first sophomore captain ever and has proven to be an excellent leader on the field. He also cited Colton Rupp, the lead scorer from last year as a player to watch.

The season will debut with two away games, but Kerwick assured the team tends to play well away from home. Although last year the team struggled to maintain consistency, he anticipates the team will recover from that issue.

Cornell’s storied rival has long been Princeton, but currently Yale and Brown are the dominant teams to beat in the Ivy League. The Big Red will be taking on both Yale and Brown away from East Hill this year, with the Yale game coming first on March 18th and Brown following late in the season on April 22nd.

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