SPRING IS IN THE AIR (4/9/05)
It is the time of the year where the lacrosse season either starts
winding down, or starts to get real interesting. Seniors start
getting nostalgic, playing their last home games ever, the sun
comes out and warms everyone up, and the playoffs are in the air.
For the Bucs, the season is anything but winding down. With three
games left, all against excellent opponents, the Bucs hosted the
St. Ed's Hilltoppers on Saturday in what could be a playoff
St. Ed's is a solid team with very good coaching that never
quits. SU had to deal with a lot of issues in the week leading up
to the game. One of its starting D poles, Matt Denton, playing
without an ACL all year, went down in practice on Tuesday and is
gone for the remainder of the season. In addition, three of SU's
strong middies were in Houston for a Biology field trip that
There is always a silver lining in anything that happens if you
look hard enough for it, however. The absences, gave the Bucs,
more importantly, many Bucs with minimal playing time all year, a
chance to step on the field and make a difference in the game.
That is exactly what they did.
As seniors like Matt Gainey, Frank Makal, Dave Winter, and Mike
Jeffcoat were all stepping on the field for the last time in a
game at SU, Robert Lockwood, Derek Samples, "Geo" Machado, Paul
Humphries, and Jon-Micheal, were all freshmen that stepped up into
roles where they had to contribute. A passing of the torch may be
premature, but the guys came in and played very admirably.
SU did start out very sluggish against St. Ed's, however, with
missed assignments and sluggish play, allowing the Hilltoppers to
notch the first goal of the game from outside to take a 1-0 lead.
The goal woke SU up as shortly after, the attack scored two quick
goals to take the lead. SU would never trail the rest of the
game. SU added four goals in all before St. Ed's got their
offense going and came into the second quarter only down 4-3.
A brief correction on the defensive end by the defensive players,
proved to be all SU needed as the Hilltoppers would score one more
goal the rest of the day, with a little over 3 minutes in the
third. SU shut them down.
The Bucs had many opportunities to bust the game wide open in the
2nd quarter, pounding the ball relentlessly at the St. Ed's
goalie, hitting pipes, and missing the goal altogether. However,
the Bucs were only able to come away with two goals to show for
it, taking a 6-3 lead into half-time.
As the second half started, the determination of the Bucs showed,
and the goals started coming. SU scored 5 goals in the third to
pull away to a commanding 11-3 lead, and finishing the quarter
That score would prove to be the final as SU was able to place
many players in the game for experience.
Several players deserve credit, although all played a great game.
Lockwood, a freshman middie, stepped in and did an exceptional job
on the field all day, as did all the attack, and the defense minus
Denton. The game ball went to Wersonske for hustling and
providing a spark when St. Ed's was making a stand in the second.
Wersonske is a diamond in the rough and will need to be strong in
For the senior class, everything has literally come full circle.
As freshmen, they played on a team that won two games and had a
total of 12 players in uniform the entire year, even going ironman
one game due to injuries. Fank Makal came out early in the Spring
after leaving baseball and was literally thrown in to a starting
attack position. Four years later, I'm not sure what we would
have done without him. Each year, not only have the guys stuck
with the game, but they have played a large role in helping make
the Bucs as strong as they are now.
We will need it as we head to UTA this weekend for a match-up
against UTA and UNC. UTA has become the premiere team in LSA Div.
B , and are the defending Champions. While SU pulled an upset
last year, during the season, UTA was able to make it happen
during the playoffs. This will be a very good game, possibly the
best in LSA B this year. The winner has bragging rights going
into the playoffs.
One thing is sure. While both teams are looking at this game as a
must win, SU wants more than to simply "make the playoffs" this
year. Whatever it takes to get to the finals and win, the Bucs
have been preparing since August. This year, they plan on making
sure they have that chance.
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