For the final time, Tom Schreiber peeled off the tools of his trade. Helmet, stick, gloves, pads -- they all were tossed dejectedly in a heap outside a tent near Howie Vogts Field at Bethpage High School Saturday. "I'm done," Princeton's All-American senior midfielder said after the Tigers lost to Cornell, 12-10, in the fourth Battle at Bethpage.
The game marked the end of a terrific career for Schreiber, the former St. Anthony's star from East Meadow who never got a chance to play in a Final Four but put his name on numerous pages in the Tigers' record book where he is the fifth-leading all-time scorer with 200 career points (106 goals, 94 assists) and soon to be named an All-American for a third consecutive season.
"It flew by. I remember my first college game was on Long Island, against Hofstra," Schreiber said. "It feels like it was only a year ago. But I don't have any regrets. I love this team and this university."
Princeton finished 7-6, did not qualify for the Ivy League tournament and will not get an at-large berth for the NCAA Tournament. Even if the Tigers had defeated the Big Red, they likely would not have received an invitation.
"It's disappointing," said Schreiber who was hounded all afternoon by Cornell's long poles and managed only one goal -- on one of his patented outside blasts. "I knew we were a long shot [for the NCAAs], but we're all competitors. We wanted to go out with a win."
Cornell coach Matt Kerwick called Schreiber "a complete lacrosse player. He plays so hard and you have to be aware of where he is on the field at all times."
His next field will be a professional one, as after graduation next month Schreiber will join Major League Lacrosse, where he was the No. 1 overall pick by the Ohio Machine. "I'm not thinking about that right now," Schreiber said.
His heart was still beating for his college team.