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: Complete Photo Gallery
After a less than stellar performance on the national arena the day before, and after a great end of year banquet with quite a few parents, the Bucs woke up the next day to play Augustana.

The Augies were, by some, the surprise team of the tournament. From the GRLC, dominated by Harding, the Augies had knocked off Harding, then #7 in the nation, in the conference semifinals, followed by a win against another team ranked above them all year for the automatic bid to nationals. With their newfound status, the Augies moved all the way up from #24 in the nation to #10 in the final poll, leapfrogging Southwestern in the process.

Having a chance to watch the Augies play against Eckerd the day before, the Bucs thought they had a solid chance to win a game against this young team that parallels the Bucs in so many ways.

It did not happen. All credit must be given to Augustana and their coaches as they continuously proved throughout the tournament they belonged at nationals. While only a few guys had played before (sound familiar), the Augies were very fluid on offense, not forcing anything, passing the ball very well, getting everyone involved and finding match-ups they liked. In short they were very patient and very well coached. More importantly, they had one thing the Bucs did not.

Simply put, they had a desire to be there that morning and play the game. The bucs did not. The Bucs played one of their worst games in coaches history. Not to beat around the bush, the Bucs were flat, their heads were somewhere else, and often the play, or lack of on the field was a direct correlation to their preparedness. Missed passes, failure to pass the ball to open guys and a general laissez-faire attitude left the Bucs with a hole which they could not overcmoe as the second half began. While the Bucs scored first, and were down 2-1 at the end of one, most of the time the ball was spent with the Bucs throwing the ball away, missing ground ball opportunities, conceding plays, etc. that most of the time the Bucs would challenge every step of the way.

For the first time in a very long time, the Bucs had literally checked out as a team by the end of the first half and did not check back in. While there were players that did very well, (Ryan Brown scored half of the goals on the day), as a team we were lacking.

On the other side, as was stated earlier, the Augies were very excited to be there and played as such. They controlled the game from the second quarter on and never looked back, finsihing the game with a convincing 10-4 win.

Augustana was absolutely the better team that day and very much deserved to win. One could not help but wonder, however, if the Bucs had shown up and played the way they played all season, how good of a game that would have been.

As the bucs walked off the field, 0-2 and facing the #9 team in the nation the following morning, the prospects for gaining any respect, more importantly playing Southwestern Lacrosse, were looking grim at best. The bright spot was a great feast at Newt's parents. The drive was long, but the brisket, sausage, and ribs with all the fixins, as well as the Newman hospitality were over the top.

It was a great way to end a bad day, with hopes that it could only get better and that the Bucs could "salvage" something from the tournament. Special thanks goes out to John Kotarski, who has supported the team with great photos for a couple of years now, for taking some great pictures of a not so great game.

- Bill Bowman

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