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spacer spacer  MEN'S LACROSSE: GAME SUMMARIES (2004) spacer
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On Sunday, April 18th, #21 nationally ranked SU hosted #7 nationally ranked UTA for a showdown that would decide the number one seed in the playoffs next weekend. The loser would drop all the way to three.

All year, SU has opportunities to play some high quality, nationally ranked teams, and has come up short. SU played #9 NSU at the beginning of the year and came up short, played #1 Southwest Missouri State (SMS) and was outclassed, and played #16 Harding and blew a commanding lead. All but the SMS game, SU had the opportunity to win, but could not find a way.

Not today. Not on the last game of the season, and the last home game of the seniors Dave Caldwell and Kent Sholars. The Bucs came out determined to compete with a very good, and well coached Maverick team. They did.

The game started with both teams feeling each other out. Much of the first quarter was spent on the Buc defensive side of the field as the poise and precision of the UTA offense controlled the game. The Bucs did have some early unsettled and fast break scoring opportunities, but could not find the back of the net.

UTA struck first with two goals at the midway point of the first, before SU came roaring back with three of their own to end the first up 3-2. It was the only lead SU would have all day until the end.

The second quarter saw UTA come back with two goals before both sides traded at the end to go into the half at 5-5.

The third quarter has historically been a terrible quarter for SU this year. We are currently accepting any potions, etc. that may help us avoid this problem in the playoffs. Today was no different as UTA came out and took an 8-6 lead at the end of three quarters.

The rest of the game belonged to SU. The Bucs came out in the fourth and managed to tie up the game at 8-8 with 10 minutes left, off an assist and goal by Bier, before relinquishing two more quick goals in the span of two minutes. With just under 6:30 minutes left in the game and SU trailing 10-8, the Bucs found a way to fight back with everything they had.

Bier, who again controlled most of his face-offs, managed to get a screened shot by the goalie to bring it within one and only 15 seconds off the clock. Then a couple of minutes later, an unsettled situation near midfield saw Gainey find a cutting Adams toward the goal for a perfect shot over the left shoulder of the goalie. This was the first career goal of Adams' short career, and it could not have come at a better time, as it tied the game at 10 with 4 minutes left to play.

A man down for SU shortly after was stifled by the defense, led by Kunkelmann and Sholars, but a loose ball led to an unsettled situation as the penalty expired and UTA found the back of the net before SU could recover with 3 minutes remaining.

Again, Bier stepped up and was able to win the face-offs when needed, and came up big, cut across the box, and found an open Gainey for his 5th goal of the day just as the slide was coming to Bier. With 1:45 left, SU had managed once again to tie the game.

Both teams had chances to end the game in regulation, as both had penalties. Right after the tying score, Caldwell was called with a :30 pushing penalty that SU was able to stop. A great stick swat of the ball out of the air by Sholars saved an almost sure goal by UTA as the pass was headed for a wide open cutter on the crease.

SU then got its chance with under a minute to play, as a 1 minute body-checking penalty was called on UTA. SU could not get off a shot in regulation, but maintained possession, and carried over :15 seconds into the overtime period. It was ll the team would need as the ball made its way around the side to Caldwell, and he proceeded to beat the first guy around the crease and the last slide to place the winning goal in the back of the net for the biggest win of the year.

How fitting that on his last home game, his last shot won the game in overtime for SU. Caldwell, the tireless leader for the team, who has literally played every position on the field, save goalie (but he would have if we asked), was able to walk off Moses field for the last time with Sholars as a winner by all accounts.

A great team effort saw all the role players make huge contributions. No one quit on any ground balls. Slides were crisp and to the point. The team simply would not lose. All the freshmen stepped up, as did the four guys who platooned at attack for ailing Makal. Jones, Emmel, Kerr, and Baker, all did an outstanding job.

Kerr also did what he has done most of the year, control ground balls and the midfield area to gain/retain possession of the ball when we need it the most. While this does not show up in the stat book, Kerr is a big reason why we win games.

For all the fans, we appreciate the support all year. We hope you will make the trek to San Marcos next weekend to watch the Bucs continue their improbable season toward the Championship.

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