|APR 1, 2001 - It was a dark and stormy night..... no wait... it wasn't that at all. In fact, Sunday, April 1st was no Fools day, and those who were able to
watch Southwestern host TCU, came away with the pleasure of seeing one
of the greatest sport events in the history of Southwestern sports.
Southwestern, with 14 guys in uniform, and TCU with 15 guys, were evenly matched from the beginning, or so it seemed. TCU started the game with a flurry, picking up where they left off the day before in their win over Trinity, and scoring three quick unanswered goals before the first five minutes of the game had ticked away. A timeout and unreleasable penalty on TCU allowed SU to "WAKE UP" from the doldrums of daylight savings time to score two quick goals in the span of a minute by Sr. Kai Stratman off assists by Jamin Welch.
SU went on to add two more goals before the first goal ended to take a 4-3 lead into the second quarter. TCU, however, quickly stole the momentum back with two goals of their own before freshman David Caldwell picked up a ground ball and made a great pass in transition to Pete Banzhaf in the middle of the field for a quick fast break goal.
Shortly after in one of SU's 8 man-up situations of the game Jenkins scored a goal off an assist by Siekielski in front of the crease. As would be the case throughout the day, however, TCU answered again to score two more goals before half-time and take a 7-6 lead.
The third quarter saw both SU and TCU exchange goals, including a perfect bounce shot in the top right corner from freshman middie Jim Andrews, who has quickly developed a lethal shot when on target. By the end of the third quarter, SU and TCU were all even at 9 a piece.
The fourth saw SU take the lead off of Marc Harrison's second goal of the day. The rest of the quarter belonged to TCU, scoring two goals to go up by one. TCU, however failed to run time off the clock, and our defense, anchored by Thompson, Riddell, and Jenkins, was able to keep TCU at bay down the stretch.
Southwestern, out of timeouts, and with less than a minute to go in the game saw its chances of beating TCU dwindling quickly, until an unsettled situation behind the TCU goal led to Pete Banzhaf making the perfect pass from behind the net to a cutting Jamin Welch right in front of the crease with less than 30 seconds remaining in the game.
All tied up, and both teams already extremely tired, SU and TCU entered into a four minute sudden death overtime. Southwestern immediately got the upper hand with a man-up on a TCU penalty and provided constant pressure in their offensive zone. The TCU defense and goalie were able to hold and had two shots of their own hit off the posts.
Goalie Jason Grasty, then became the focus of most of the rest of the game as Southwestern received the first of two man-down situations right before the end of the first overtime.
With the scored tied at 11 and TCU having a man-up situation, TCU started the 2nd 4 minute overtime with almost a minute advantage, and they tried to make the best of it. TCU took several close range shots, all stopped by the human shield we once knew as mere mortal Jason Grasty. Just as the first man down situation expired, Southwestern received a second penalty, again forcing our man down Defense and goalie to play with their backs against the wall.
The entire unit played very well, not giving TCU any good looks at the goal. The shots that TCU did get off were all stopped by Grasty, including one with a little under two minutes left in the 2nd overtime that Grasty heaved to midfield and Sr. Jamin Welch picked up in transition down the bench sideline. With all players tired and TCU on a man-up Jamin took the ball straight to the goal, beat two defenders sliding late and placed a shot over the goalie's right shoulder to win the game.
Jamin has been the team leader in too many ways to count during his career. It was only fitting that he tied the game in regulation and won in overtime to end his playing career at Southwestern in his last home game ever. For his efforts, Jamin received the game ball although every man on the team played exceptionally well.
In a sport whose success is dictated by team unity and cohesiveness, the Bucs truly epitomized how working together can reap benefits on the field. Jason Grasty, the freshman goalie from St. John's played the best game anyone around could remember in goal for a long, long time. With 37 saves, and many of those point blank, Grasty kept the Bucs in the game and gave our guys a chance to win it when it counted.
Next week, we travel to Austin to play UT, but the game that will be remembered for years to come is this one. It is why the guys play the game, win or lose. Fortunately, on April 1st, 2001 the Southwestern Lacrosse team played a perfect game, and was rewarded for their effort.