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spacer spacer  MEN'S LACROSSE: GAME SUMMARIES (2005) spacer
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SOUTHWESTERN FINISHES SEASON AND TOURNAMENT WITH STRONG SHOWING (5/13/05)





: Photo Gallery
 

On day 2 of the national tournament, the Bucs had much to be thankful for. The weather was much nicer, and the Bucs knew they were playing their last game of the season regardless of the outcome. Three seniors, Matt Gainey, Dave Winter, and Frank Makal, all suited up for the last time in their careers, and the team knew it could play against the #5 team in the nation in St. John's (MN).

After seeing St. John's play in the Nortex tournament at UTA in February, the Bucs wanted to prove they belonged in the National tournament against some of the best teams in the league. While the game against San Diego the day before was disappointing for many reasons, the Bucs were determined to leave everything on the field for the last game of the season.

An 8:30 game start, combined with an inspirational viewing and choice commentary of "Joe Dirt" in honor of Matt Gainey on the way to the fields put the guys in a mood which proved successful.

The Johnnies drew first blood shortly after the game started, before Frank notched his first of the day to get SU on the board shortly after. Scoring was limited by both teams until the end of the quarter as the game quickly became a run and gun, transition, all out game. St. John's scored two quick goals within a minute at the 3:40 mark to take a two goal lead before Matt Gainey hit his first of the day, unassisted and provided Wersonske with an assist to tie the game up with just over 1:30 left in the quarter.

The second started where the first ended, very fast paced, with both teams pressuring the ball and pushing it to the opposite end of the field. In the second, SU scored first with Wersonske's second goal of the day off an assist by Jones before the Johnnies tied it up shortly after. MacConnel and Jones both scored to give the Bucs a 6-4 lead with 4 minutes left in the half, only to see St. John's fight back to tie the game, the second with only :15 seconds left in the half.

After a quick halftime, in which two classy St. John's fans decided to come and camp out at our half-time speech, both teams again began play in what seemingly was a pace that could not be kept up. Defense buckled down in the third with both teams trading goals. Su tied it with a rocket shot by Pritchett off yet another assist by Gainey.

By the end of the third, St. John's had already tried to double Gainey unsuccessfully, as he continually split the defenders and found the open guys.

As the fourth started however, St. John's picked up the intensity yet again and totally dominated the first 8 minutes. While SU had chances to score, St. John's was able to pick up ground balls, and control the crease with the defense over committing, and checks coming with sticks, not body. The result was disastrous. St. John's methodically poured in 6 goals, most unassisted during that time to take a 13-7 lead before SU used its last timeout and finished strong.

With four minutes left SU made its comeback, scoring three goals and controlling the game over the next three minutes with 3 goals of its own, and causing St. John's to take one of its timeouts. The last came from Frank, who along with Gainey had games to remember as they left the field for the last time ever. Winter, also played exceptional at LSM, continually stepping in where we needed him all year, being the ultimate team player for us as the season progressed.

SU ran out of time. St. John's was the better team in the fourth quarter for more minutes than SU. That was the difference in the game. Hats off to St. John's for a great season. They deserve all the accolades they have coming to them. We hope they make the trip to Arlington next year, and that they will look favorable to playing us in a rematch.

As the final whistle blew, everyone to a man was very upbeat, and felt they played as well as they could in what truly had become a cinderella season. Again thanks goes out to all the family members who came up to support their sons and the Bucs, and joined us for the end of year banquet.

While we left 0-2, we learned a lot, and played with the best in the nation. Each year we find a way to raise the bar. For Southwestern Lacrosse, the future looks bright. We may put the small school from Georgetown, Texas on the national lacrosse map yet. This year was definitely a solid beginning toward that goal.

I am honored to have been the coach, along with Monty, Kris, and all the others behind the scenes this year for this team. I am positive it is something they will remember for the rest of their lives.

In trying to find a way to sum up the season, words from Theodore Roosevelt come to mind. "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."

Your 2005 Southwestern Bucs were 12-4, undefeated in LSA, LSA Div. B champions, and LSA representative to the 1st ever National Tournament for Division B. I couldn't have said it better myself.

Bill Bowman


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