WHAT A VALENTINE'S DAY (2/14/04)
The week leading up to Valentines Day, weather wise, was
absolutely horrific. The days were cold and rainy, the fields
were wet, and the guys on the team full of complaints.
Through it all, however, Southwestern knew it would have one of
its toughest challenges of the season on Valentines Day, a game
against Preseason #25 in the nation, Tulane Green Wave at home.
To top it off, Friday night/early Saturday morning, it snowed more
in the Austin area than it has in almost twenty years, and thanks
to a few guys on the team who stayed up late(obviously past
curfew ; )), there was an enormous snowman with huge tree limbs
for arms sitting right in front of one of the cages when the
players got to the field. Their excuse? "We were going to use it
for target practice, Coach".
To further complicate things, the field was covered with almost
three inches of white snow.
Well, Tulane showed up, although in smaller numbers than expected,
the sun came out early and melted the snow, and the fans came out
to support the Bucs on a day which couldn't have been nicer. Must
have been the Valentines announcement Gupta sent to the campus.
As he did against SFA, Bier notched the first goal of the game.
This time, however, Bier wasted no time and scored with only
twenty six seconds gone in the game. Needless to say, with only
twelve guys on the team for Tulane, SU never looked back.
Bier dominated at face-offs, not losing one the entire day, and
winning most outright. From the beginning, SU ran Tulane into the
ground. By half-time, the score was 7-1.
Caldwell and Gainey were brilliant all day, commanding the crease,
and moving very well. By the end of three, it was 10-2, before SU
decided to start getting penalty after penalty. With six in the
fourth quarter alone, SU allowed Tulane to score 5 in the fourth
to make the final score 13-7.
Tulane had some very good players, but no support from the bench.
SU controlled most ground balls, the tempo of the game, most, if
not all face-offs, and again improved as a team.
Emmel, has been playing brilliant for a first year all season, and
was rewarded with his first goal of the season in the fourth, to
go along with his first assist last week. Arrington, did a great
job facing off on the second line, winning most of his as well.
Again, the line of Jay, Om, and Jones, filling in for injured
Daulton, did an exceptional job in transition. Jeffcoat had a
great game as usual, and many of the freshmen made their presence
known on the field, in a hard hitting game. MacConnell has hit
the goalie in the chest twice on one on ones in unsettled
situations now this year. Maybe one day MacConnell will aim at
the goal and not the goalie - we are going to clarify that for him
this week. Gette played more than he has all year and was tired
after all the man down situations SU put itself in.
The game ball went to Daniel who again had a very good game, and
it was shared with first year D-man Kunkelmann, who, in a short
semester and a half, has turned into a very physical and adept
long pole. Overall the defense played very well, again led by
Senior Sholars and Winter. Tulane did have many chances in front
of the crease but could not finish.
SU, a huge underdog came away with a big win. With the hustle of
the entire team through the last second of the game, we are
learning how to never let up. No where can that be seen more than
by the play of Frank Makal in a game like this one. While he
notched no points for the day, a rare occasion indeed, Frank was
all over the place at attack, maintaining possession, picking up
loose balls, riding defenders, and finding ways to make his team
come out ahead.
Next week SU hosts UT-Dallas, a team that came to SU last year and
lost in overtime. This team cannot be overlooked. A win against
UT-D puts SU in a solid position in the Division at 4-1, with its
only loss against well deserving NSU.
Overall the game was a great win, celebrated after by many of the
players, who DON'T have to wash jerseys, with a slide in the huge
mud puddle after the game. They enjoyed that so much that they
decided to let coach join in the fun by picking him up (tackling
him)and carrying him to the great mud pie on the crease, and
letting him go with a splash seen and heard by many.
Caldwell, one of our two fearless seniors led the charge of the mud
brigade. Coach Bowman needs to discuss with Caldwell again what
it means to be a captain. Most importantly what is appropriate
and what is not, as coach Bowman ended up driving home with very
little clothing on. There will be EXTRA running this week he
says. Reason - Can't let up on the conditioning. Whatever it is,
it is definitely not because it took several washes to get him and
the clothes clean.
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