SU Comes out Firing (On Both Goals?)
|D-men in lacrosse don't get a lot of credit. Good ones aren't flashy. They simply go about their business in a matter of fact way. In fact, many would say they share a kinship with offensive linemen of football. Their work often goes unnoticed - unless they do something wrong. It is exceptionally rare when a d-man in lacrosse in this league gets notoriety on the offensive end for scoring a goal.
Not to jump to far ahead, however, SU hosted UTA on Saturday, a second year team to the lower division of the league, that has been turning some heads this year on the field. SU beat UTA last year 14-5, but had no illusions coming into the game this year with a roster of 12 against UTA's 22, and with the knowledge that UTA beat SU rival Trinity earlier in the year. This is the same Trinity that beat SU 12-6.
That, as they say, is why you play the games. With only one win under their belts all season, and with losses to teams that SU has perennially beat year in and year out, the young team did not know what to expect. SU came out with a purpose, however, and that purpose was to play a game they all knew they could. One with passion, with intensity, and with control.
For the first time all year, SU came out and took control. The Lacrosse mojo was finally in its favor. All checks seemed to hit stick, all ground balls ended up in SU's sticks, and the guys played a well controlled tempo of a game. Shortly after the game started, SU notched its first goal on a rocket bounce shot by Sr. Attackman Marc Harrison. The team never looked back (except for once, but we'll get to that in a minute)SU did not let up, taking a four to one lead into half-time, and completely out-hustling UTA on both sides of the field.
The second half was more of the same as SU continued to expand on the lead and control the ball on both sides of the field. That is where SO. D-man Kent Sholars comes in. A no-nonsense player, he shows up to work and does it well. Kent, like every D-man has grand illusions of making that perfect shot in the top right hand corner of the net to score a goal with a long stick. Very seldom does such accuracy, much less the opportunity, happen for a D-man. In fact, as a coach, I have never seen one of SU's D-men score a goal....until Saturday against UTA. Hats off to Kent for fulfilling a dream. The shot was so good, it was so well placed, the goalie did not even see it coming. And OUR goalie made sure he told Kent that exact thing after he scored (along with a few other words I'm sure).
That's right, with a 6-1 lead, Kent felt UTA needed some help and became tied for the leading scorer of UTA in the game by placing a behind the back shot right in front of his own goal over the shoulder of his own goalie. No one really knows why people do things they do. None of the team really wants to know what possessed Kent at that moment. They all want to make one thing clear, however. If he ever starts telling stories about how he "scored a goal as a D-man", make sure he clarifies which team he did indeed score for.
With the game inching closer, SU decided to put the game away and ended up with a 10-3 (or 2 depending on how you look at it) victory over UTA. David Caldwell managed another three goals and has managed to score in almost every game this season.
Not enough can be said about the quick development of the freshmen on the team. Frank Makal, new to the game only this semester, has continually found a way to make things happen that are positive on the offensive side of the field. UTA was no different as he notched an assist and a goal. Matt Biermacher and Kijan Hong, also new this semester have been able to make great contributions at middie, Matt possibly becoming a face-off man in the future.
Goalie Daniel Ehrlich received the game ball. His game was exceptional. Several notches above any of the others he played in his young career. Daniel made at least 4 point blank stuffs, and positioned himself perfectly in goal the entire game. For the first time in his career, Daniel had complete command of the goalie position, and consequently, the game for the entire game.
Never in SU history have so few won a game against so many. It was a true testament to how the young team has stuck together through all the injuries. It was also very encouraging as SU went into its last game of the season against Baylor.
Finally, Sr. Pete Banzhaf, in his first game ever as an SU BUC four years ago against SFA scored 7 goals. Little did any of us know that on Saturday, April 6th, 2002, Pete would be one of the elite few who entered the 100 point club in the SU Hall of honor with 2 goals and 2 assists. Pete will be sorely missed for his love of the game, his knowledge of the game, and his ability to find open players and get them the ball in a position they can do something with it. We will be searching a long time to find a replacement for Pete.