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spacer spacer  MEN'S LACROSSE: 2007 SEASON GAME SUMMARIES spacer
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As the sun rose on Saturday, so did the temperature outside and on the field. The Bucs awoke knowing that Carnegie Mellon had dismantled Augustana the night before with a convincing 15-6 win.

The Bucs knew that a win against this team was going to be very tough. Carnegie Mellon is from the CCLA, a very competitive conference, and was a team that would probably be cracking the top 25 in the next poll.

The Bucs, on the other hand were on their third game in as many days, with key injuries. Did they have enough gas?

The Bucs had scouted the offense of the Tartans the night before and knew exactly what to expect. The defense pretty much shut their offense down with one of the best team defensive stands for an entire game I have seen from any Bucs team I have coached as many shots received checks from Bucs defenders as they were leaving the stick and many more never happened as the Bucs were all over the place.

This coupled with one of the best games in goal I have ever seen by McDonough, who is the real deal, and not just in the LSA, allowed the Bucs to come away with a hard fought win and the honor of going 2-1 against some very good competition.

The game started with both teams feeling each other out. The Bucs changed their entire strategy for this game knowing they did not have Jones to control the offense for the second straight game. Ryan "Shug" Evans, who has played little this year, and has been a middie stepped into the last attack role and made the best of it. He did exactly what we needed him to do, hold the ball, pass it off and not make any mistakes that could put an advantage in the other teams favor. The rest of the work on the offensive end would have to be done by our middies. Daulton, Sample, Brown, and Thompson all knew that if we had a chance of winning they would have to play prominent roles in the game today.

As the game started at 5p.m., just about the time the sun starts to become a factor when it comes to seeing the ball, the Bucs lost the toss and had to look defensively directly into the sunlight. Carnegie Mellon was not able to take advantage of the direct sunlight, however, only getting a few shots off.

The Bucs, however got big Bryson Wersonske involved, (which is a very good thing) very early on an unsettled situation that led to a fast break goal to take a 1-0 lead.

Shortly after that, Southwestern scored its only man-up goal of the weekend with a shot by Thompson, followed by a second goal by Thompson shortly after in the open field for the Bucs to take a 3-0 lead.

Carnegie Mellon scored one before the half to make it a 3-1 half-time lead for the Bucs.

As the second half started, #22, who scored almost all of Carnegie Mellon's points for the day rolled by Cole for a quick score to ake it 3-2, before Sample found the top left corner of the net on a wicked bounce shot to give the Bucs a 4-2 advantage.

The Bucs Entered the fourth seemingly with more energy than ever, and having an opportunity to hold the ball on offense because of several man-up situations. Daulton gave the Bucs a 5-2 lead with a face-off coast to coast goal, which was quickly answered by the Tartans to bring the score to 5-3 with plenty of time left.

The Tartans made it interesting shortly after with another goal before the Bucs took over for good. With the score standing at 5-4 the Bucs were able to thwart shot after shot and offensive possession after possession from the Tartans.

At one point Fletch made one of the best hustle plays of the game when he came half way across the field on a missed pass by Southwestern that was going out of bounds to dive with his long stick in one hand and scoop it back in the field of play just before the sideline. The Bucs gained possession off the ball.

Again, Bryson made his presence known with a quick spin move from up top. Bryson got into the middle crease area and placed a perfect shot in the top right corner to give the Bucs a two goal advantage with only a few minutes remaining.

It was all the Bucs would need. The defense took care of the rest. Between McDonough, who had 18 saves, some of which were unbelievable, and the defense, Carnegie Mellon was not able to make any type of threat for the final 5 minutes of the game and Southwestern had just finished with its only loss to the #2 team in the nation.

Obviously McDonough received the game ball for his stellar play, but the entire team found a way to win, with our middies doing what they had to to help us get there. Shug stepped up and played a great game at attack for not having played the position before, and Brown, who did not show up in the score books played well all game and the entire weekend, making key plays time after time to give us possession and to keep the ball on our end of the field.

It truly was the little things the Bucs did on the field that led to their overall success. Or maybe it was the Chinese food or even the Denny's right next to the hotel with 2 hour service that gave the Bucs the energy to play.

We appreciate the guys from Augustana for hosting as well as St. John's and Carnegie Mellon for making the trip to play as well.

The Bucs made the short, or long if you ask some of the guys, 18 hour trip back to Georgetown to start their own Spring Break and get a little R and R for a couple of weeks before hitting the field to play yet another OOC opponent in #7 Harding at home on the 31st of March.

This should be an exciting game, especially if we get both Jones and Webb back for the game.

Just about everything we were hoping to accomplish on the trip came to fruition. With so many firsts for the team over the past couple of years, the trip added several more firsts for the storied program at SU.

Thanks to all the families, the Claiborns, Lockwoods, and Sobehrads, for making the trip as well to support our team.

Go Bucs!!!!!

- Bill Bowman

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