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spacer spacer  MEN'S LACROSSE: GAME SUMMARIES (2004) spacer
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BUCS FINISH GREAT SEASON WITH A TOUGH LOSS (4/24/04)

On Saturday, April 24th, the Bucs, many parents and family member, and a lot of SU students and supporters, travelled down to San Marcos to see the Bucs play in their first playoff game in almost 10 years.

The number one seeded Bucs played the #4 seeded Nicholls State Colonels in the LSA Div. B Conference Semi-finals for a chance to play in the championship on Sunday.

SU, at 8-1 in the regular season, suffered its only loss of the year to NSU. A look back at the game recap would show what SU must do (and not do) in order not to suffer a second defeat in as many tries.

In the first game, the intangibles, winning ground balls, hustling all over the field, and fast break conversions, all fell in favor of the Colonels. As a result, they won.

The Bucs knew they were a different team than the one they fielded the very first game of the year, however. That was the only game MAtt Gainey, a second team Attackman, did not play. It was also the first game ever for half the team (all freshmen).

The game started and the first half ended with the Bucs simply being out-hustled to ground balls, outplayed in transition, and down 8-4. SU simply came out flat, and when it did get offensive opportunities, could not find the back of the net, hitting many pipes, and just missing many more shots.

NSU controlled the ball on their offensive side of the field most of the first half, and started the third with more of the same. The Bucs fell behind 10-5 before they started their comeback. Unfortunately it was to little to late. While the Bucs controlled the entire fourth quarter, at one time bringing the score to 10-12 with just over two minutes left, shots would not go in. The fourth must have seen at least 20-30 shots on NSU. Credit must be given to NSU and its goalie for hanging in and holding off the SU charge till the buzzer sounded for a final score of 13-10 off a meaningless fast break score with 2 seconds left in the game.

One can only wonder what the game would have been like if the bucs had showed up in the first half with the intensity they did in the second. Regardless credit goes to NSU and to the bUcs for making it this far in a year that saw so many new faces, and half of a 28 team roster comprised of first time ever players.

This was a good experience. We now know what it takes to get to the playoffs, and more importantly, what it takes to get a win in the playoffs. I'm positive the guys will be ready next year.

As this is the end of the season, there are always some painful goodbyes. Sholars and Caldwell, the only two seniors, have been the consummate leaders, sticking with the team even when we lost all but two games. These guys have been the heart and soul of the team and have left a mark on this team that won't soon be forgotten.

In an unusual season there are others that will be leaving us for various reason as well. Freshman Dave Emmel will be transferring to Tulane, and will be sorely missed. Eric Kunkelmann a first year d-man is also transferring to A&M and will be a huge loss on D. Bier is also planning on graduating in December and likely has played his last game as a Buc. His intensity and face-offs and rocket shot will be hard to replace.

However, the team has many guys who can and, no doubt, will step up into roles next year. It is an exciting time to be a part of SU lacrosse, and we sincerely appreciate all who followed us and supported us this year.

It was a season to remember, and one that we WILL build upon.


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