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spacer spacer  MEN'S LACROSSE: GAME SUMMARIES (2006) spacer
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After what was quite possibly one of the worst games of the season the day before, the Bucs woke up once again to hit the lacrosse fields and play the early game on the side field that not many venture over to.

The opponent was two fold. Somehow, the Bucs had to decide they belonged at the tournament and play Southwestern Lacrosse. They also had to go up against the Calvin Knights, #9 in the nation, from Michigan. To make the pot even sweeter, both teams were fighting for outright possession of the cellar. The loser would fall to 0-3, while the winner would get their first ever win at the national tournament.

The Bucs came out with a renewed attitude. Their warm up, much to coaches chagrin was much more relaxed and free flowing, with guys "getting into their own groove" on their own. This is something they have done all year and it has served them well.

A well placed comment by a Calvin player as we were doing warm-ups about how they couldn't believe they "had" to play us, was also more than enough motivation for a team that had truly underachieved on the national level at the tournament.

As the game started, both teams went back and forth, trading goals for most of the first and second quarters, with the Bucs getting the nod on hustle and ground balls. The Bucs offense was able to run smoothly as it did something that it had not done the entire tournament...PASS THE BALL. The result was many open guys who were able to put the ball in the back of the net, including Pritchett, Daulton, Webb, Jeffcoat, Wersonske, and Jones.

By half-time, the Bucs had a lead and never looked back. While the first half was touch and go, the second half belonged to the Bucs. The score was never closer than a 3 goal differential in the second half with the Bucs often up by 4.

Everyone played with intensity and found ways to do the one thing we had failed to do since stepping on the van at SU to leave for our game against Montana. The guys remembered how to have fun on the field. It made all the difference. The result was night and day, and ultimately brought the Bucs and the University its first ever win at the National Championship against a solid Calvin team.

The middies flew all over the field, the attackmen never stood still, and the defense, with Ehrlich once again filling in for Gette, was very sharp. LSM's Fleschig and Machado both did an excellent job, and our goalie played the way we all know he can. Just about everyone got on the field and EVERYONE left the field with a sense of satisfaction on many levels.

In the end, the Bucs wanted the game more than the Knights, and were able to finish off another great season, which included a final National Ranking of #14, a second straight LSA B Title, and the second consecutive year in which the team went undefeated in conference. While last year the Bucs overachieved in many ways, this year the Bucs played the way they were supposed to, and achieved just about everything they set out to achieve during the season. The win in their final game of the year was exactly how the road should have ended.

We MUST thank the Newmans once again for a great pre game supper, as well as all the alumni that made it out over the course of the three games. Most importantly, however, the biggest fans, i.e. the moms and dads, as well as grandparents and siblings sure made it a special time for the guys who put an awful lot into the season, most of it behind the scenes. One of life's little lessons.

Finally, a hearty and sincere thanks to my boss and the team's assistant coach, Kris Nessler. After two years at the helm of the Sport Club realm at Southwestern, he is leaving to head back to his alma mater - Gettysburg College. A lacrosse alum in his own right, Kris immediately connected with the guys on the team, often came out and participated in intra-squad scrimmages, was a major advocate for the team with the university and was almost always on the sidelines during games. We will greatly miss Kris and his enthusiasm, but wish him the best of luck as he moves on in the next phase of his life.

With that in mind, we will also miss the likes of Daniel Ehrlich, Jay Gupta, Om Panchal, James Jeffcoat, Andrew Kerr, Eric Baker, and Brent "pasty" Wilson, as they all enter the next phase in their respective lives. I hope they have enjoyed the lacrosse experience at Southwestern and that they remember and keep in touch with us. We will miss them all for the unique attributes each of the gave to the team over their career and know the world will be a better place for their presence.

- Bill Bowman

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