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In the End Coaching Mistakes Kill Cornell

Cornell should walk off the field with their heads held high.  They had a great season and Jeff Tambroni is obviously a good coach.  But they really blew their chance.  And it was some coaching mistakes that are probably most to blame.

Late game coaching mistakes

  1. With roughly 8 minutes left in the game Cornell was trying to kill time when they were on man-up offense.  There was then a 2nd penalty and they were still content to hold the ball.  Cornell was only up 1 goal at that point.  With a man advantage and 8 minutes left, they should be trying to score, regardless of the size of the lead.  They never even attempted a shot on the 1st man advantage.  Another goal sure would have helped.
  2. Not getting a shot off when there is a delayed flag.  This is one of the most common mistakes in lacrosse these days - at any level.  Where there is a flag down and play-on situation, it’s a free shot.  Almost any shot is a good shot.  If you start paying attention you’ll notice how infrequently teams get off shots when there is a play-on penalty.  Cornell missed two free shot opportunities.  The players should be coach to recognize these situations and shoot the ball!
  3. Cornell was up 1 goal with about 1:30 left in the game.  They had the ball in Syracuse’s box and just needed to run out the clock.  Cornell’s Roy Lang (who Quint Kessenich refered to as awkward) had the ball covered by Abbott.  It was clear Abbott was working to take the ball away and that Lang was in trouble.  Cornell should have take the timeout.  Even if it meant Syracuse put a pole on the ball don’t you like any matchup with Seibald, Glynn,  or any attackman better?
  4. With roughly 25 seconds left in the game Cornell was given possession behind their goal to clear the ball.  They weren’t setup, they pushed the ball up field using a defenseman to try and dodge. Cornell should have taken a timeout and setup a clear. Or even brought Seibald down to run the ball.  This was the most obvious mistake at the end of the game.
  5. [EDIT] - The commenter made a good point which was meant to be on this list. When you get the ball in OT you call a timeout if you don’t have the best matchup on the field.  No reason to save the TO in OT.

Yes hindsight is 20/20, and being the head coach of a college lacrosse team playing on Memorial day is a monumental task. But making a different coaching decision on any of those three key 4th quarter situations likely wins the game for them.

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8 Responses to “In the End Coaching Mistakes Kill Cornell”

  1. Angry C-Man Says:

    Fully agree.  Point #4 is right on.  A coach at any level in any sport MUST take a time-out when in the lead with 24 seconds.  This is what the coach is being paid for, to overlay his clear thinking on a chaotic situation.  Siebald (arguably the best player in the country) or Glynn must be given the ball to kill the clock at that point.  To be fair, I would like to hear Coach Tambroni respond to these points.

  2. MR Says:

    Disgaree with 1 and 2, slowing things down was the right call in those situations. With the delayed flag they could have taken huge amounts of time off the clock, with the man up still to come. The could have easily iso’ed the shorties behind, forced Galloway to come out, and possibly drawn another penalty. You can still get a good shot off, but why rush it? And with the explosiveness of SU offense, the more time off the better.

    ABSOLUTLEY agree with 3 and 4. Got to get that timeout. Holy heck. Can’t comment about the clear, sometimes they just break down. When he got in trouble, should have cheaped it, but hey, these things happen.
    Also - not mentioned, but in the OT, I think Cornell should have called a TO right away. I know you trust Hurley, but he isn’t exactly the best ball carrier, and you knew Smith was going to hunt the takeaway.
    I don’t think either team deserved to lose, was a great game. Can’t knock Cornell, they were sooo close, tremendous season and playoff run. They’ll be back.


    It doesnt matter when your are playing syracuse in the finals….WE R THE BEST…You can dream up any out come imaginable…..

  4. Laxinainteasy Says:

    On point #4 - 25 seconds left, you need to call the time out and get your clear setup.  With 20 seconds to get it across midfield you can take your time and play catch behind the cage with your goalie and 2 defenseman when the clock hits 6 seconds left have your attack go to the far corners of the field and the d-pole “Gilman” it down to them worst case scenario the ball in the air takes 2-3 seconds off the clock and if it hits in bounds another few seconds to scrap for it and kills the clock - BAM Cornell is Champions.  Poor play calling on the Cornell Coaching staff.

  5. Big Bill Says:

    I agree. Teams and coaches always waist opportunities on Man-up. The other think I hate to see is when there is 60 seconds left in the quarter teams are holding the ball til the last 10 seconds to get a shot off. That’s ridiculous.  This isn’t basketball.  With that much time they should be getting 3 or four good shots off.

  6. Umm Says:

    This is what they call “Monday morning quarterbacking”.  How about the fact Syracuse played out of their heads catch-up ball and their second to last goal was an act of divine interventio?.  

  7. Stegs Says:

    I agree with #4&#5.  And both were questions raised THAT day…as fans were walking out of the stadium, many were questioning it.
    Cornell should have known Syracuse goals come in rapid fire.  They should have known Syracuse has this uncanny ability to dig deep and get the win.  HHH
    Why didn’t they cheap (Gilman) the clear with 25 seconds left?  Why didn’t they call a TO in OT after they won the FO?  Kill the SU momentum, set up an offensive play, etc…instead they press, and Sid Smith takes the ball away with a nice check…
    Cornell should know, you can’t let a team like SU hang in there.  SU is that damn good they can come back…and they did.

  8. Bob Jones Says:

    During play, official team timeouts may be called by a field player of the team in possession of the ball or by that team’s head coach only when the player in possession of the ball has contact with the ground with at least one foot in contact with the ground on or across the restraining line in his offensive end of the field.

    On point 4, cornell could not take a time out in the last 25 seconds because they did not have the ball in their offensive half of the field.  They should have used a gilman clear to get the ball down to the opposite corner of the field.  Syracuse would not have had enough time to get the ball near the goal.

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