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[4/26/09] On Sunday, The Bucs traveled down to Westlake Stadium in Austin to play in their 5th consecutive LSA D2 Championship. For the first time in 4 years, however, they were to play a team other than St. Ed's.

On Saturday, in the semi finals, The SHSU Bearkats came back from an early deficit to win a nail biter 8-7 and make it to the championship game against the Bucs. The Bucs, having played SHSU earlier in the season knew they had a potent offense and we are much improved team. The Bucs also knew that once the playoffs start, you can throw records and scores out the window. Playoffs are a different beast. You win or go home. The intensity is ratcheted up a few notches, and the adrenaline seems to flow endlessly.

As the game stated, both teams looked sloppy. In fact, neither team was able to get on the board until SHSU did on an unsettled situation with a little over 5 minutes left in the first. Shortly after, Martin Irish place a top shelf goal in to give the Bucs their first goal of the day. From there, the Bucs got going. Thompson placed a rocket shot in shortly after to give the Bucs their first lead at 2-1 before SHSU came back to tie it up one last time at 2 all.

As the second quarter started, the Bucs continued to find the back of the net, with Irish adding on 2 more goals before the half, and the Bucs taking a 9-4 lead into halftime. Both teams came out in the third and the Bearkats capitalized on an unsettled situation to bring their tally to 5 as the Bucs ended the quarter at 12.

The Bearkats were able to score early in the 4th to make it a12-6 game before the Bucs scored again for the 13-6 lead. The Bearkats followed up with one final goal to bring the score to 13-7 until Irish notched the final goal of the Tournament with an unbelievable rebound shot with just a few ticks left on the clock for a 14-7 lead.

The win gave the Bucs their fifth consecutive undefeated season in conference with an overall record over the last 5 years in conference of 31-0. The Bucs have also never lost in a Championship game. For a season that has so many stories and endings, the Bucs have left the MCLA and the Lone Star Alliance on top.

While the game was not pretty, the Bucs were able to secure the Automatic Qualifier for the National Tournament to be held in two weeks in Denver Colorado. At the time of this writing, by the way, it was snowing in Denver. How fun will that be! The tournament field will be announced in the evening of Sunday May 3rd, with the game times to follow shortly after.

For the last game ever to be played in Texas, the Bucs were all able to contribute. Webb, Thompson and Irish all had stellar days, as did Carney and Sample. Mock, playing hurt was able to do the little things all over the field as did Connor, Luther, and Titus. The entire defense hustled all over the field and McDonough was great in goal. Parker, Walker and Torres all stepped in at different times and also made contributions in the game. As has had so often this year, it was a total team effort, with so many reasons for a win coming from many guys who don't actually show up in the stat book.

As the Bucs prepare for the Student part of the student athlete they are over the next couple of weeks leading up to the trip to Denver, we will try to get a few practices in to stay sharp as we prepare for our fifth straight trip to the National Tournament.

While we are finished in Texas, the season and dream is still alive. Till then.

- Bill Bowman