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spacer spacer  MEN'S LACROSSE: GAME SUMMARIES (2005) spacer
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UNDEFEATED!!! (4/15/05)

FACT: Southwestern has played every team in LSA Div. B that started the season - all 10 of them, save two forfeits and finished 9-0.

FACT: Southwestern has a goalie of the year candidate who never picked up a lacrosse stick before August, a brand new starting defense, and over twelve players capable of scoring at any time.

FACT: Southwestern has the lowest (GAA) or goals against average of any LSA school this year, with an unprecedented just under 5 goals allowed per game.

FACT: Southwestern is the number one seed in the north division of the LSA playoffs in the 2005 LSA Semifinals in two weeks in Waco, TX.

FACT: Southwestern travelled to Arlington on Friday evening to play powerhouse UTA on their field for the right to the number one seed in the playoffs in the north division of LSA B, and came away with a convincing 11-5 win.

In order to truly understand what this all means, the casual observer must take a moment and consider a deeper look into the 2005 Southwestern Men's Lacrosse team.  Last year SU made the playoffs for the first time in almost ten years, and was also the number one seed, only to lose in their first playoff game.  The season was, by all respects one of the most successful SU has had in its existence.

In August of 2004, however, along with all the returners, a new group of players started practicing (over 90 practices to date), running (over 80 miles of conditioning), and along the way became a team, not just by wearing the uniform, but in the truest sense.   The guys believed in themselves, and more importantly, in each other.  They all had one thing in common.  Not to worry about rankings, or who WAS getting noticed in the LSA.

The 2005 Bucs were determined to let their play on the field show the league how good they were, and have made the commitment that their play on the field will not only get them to the playoffs this year, but ultimately bring them home their first ever LSA Championship, as well as a trip to nationals.

No matter how many teams SU has beaten this year, and what the score was, the Bucs knew that only a win against UTA, the team everyone in the LSA has been talking about, would get them what they wanted, a trip to the playoffs, and the chance to play the second seed in the south in the first round.

As the Bucs travelled up to UTA, they travelled without 5 players, 3 starters, and had only 22 available for the first time all year, against one of the classiest teams in the league. The late start and great crowd fueled the playoff intensity from the very beginning.

As the game started, UTA came out firing, notching the first goal of the game at the 11 minute mark.  That was the only goal UTA would score the rest of the half.  Over the next several minutes both teams sparred back and forth before Makal, who received one of the three game balls of the night, notched his first of four goals to get SU on the board.  The other two game balls went to Nelson and Gette for unbelievable play on Defense.

Again, the game stayed very tight for the rest of the first until SU was able to 2 more goals in during the final 2 minutes of the quarter to take a 3-1 lead going into the second.

The second saw the SU defense really start to impose its will, especially as Alex Gette went the length of the field to score his first of 2 goals for the night, and to bring his point total as a d pole/LSM to almost 10 for the year.  While the defense kept the Maverick offense at bay, SU added one more goal before the half by Gainey, and went into the half up 5-1.

UTA had a few opportunities, and their long poles did provide some fast break opportunities, but the middies and long poles worked in perfect harmony the entire night to get back and stifle all attempts by UTA.  This was truly a team effort and a night when the middies stepped up in transition on both sides of the field to take control.

UTA started the third with a quick goal to cut the lead to 5-2, before the Bucs ran off 5 more goals to end the third up 10-2.   MacConnell scored his second of the year off a great assist by Gainey, Gette notched his second of the game shortly after, and the attack put in the other 3 during the quarter.

The fourth started where the 3rd finished, with SU adding one more goal a minute into the fourth to go up 11-2.  UTA came back with two more goals to make it 11-4 with 11 minutes remaining and added one more with just under 3 remaining in the game, but SU was able to maintain possession for most of the fourth, limiting the chances UTA had for a comeback.

The entire team got in the game and played meaningful minutes, with all four lines running throughout the game, allowing SU to push the ball as much as possible.  At least 5 shots hit pipe during the game, including 3 by Wersonske from almost point blank which would have given the Bucs a larger lead, but the UTA goalie played very well the entire night.

The win capped off an unbelievable regular season for the Bucs, and allowed them to go into the playoffs as the undisputed regular season champs.

We appreciate all the fans who came up for the game, especially those loud friends of Guillo.  We are ready for the playoffs this year, and for the realization that one loss could mean we go home.  

For the seniors it has been a long road, one that started with them playing ironmen as freshmen.  Now they have their eyes set on the LSA championship, and a chance at nationals.  For the team, nothing less is expected.  Judging by the way the team has worked this year, and the outcomes so far, their chances are as good as any.

Stay posted for the announcement on who and when the Bucs play their first playoff game in Waco on Saturday the 30th of April.

Bill Bowman

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