SU gets first win of the year
|After plenty of time on the road stewing form the loss against UTA, SU woke up early Sunday morning in hopes of getting back on track of reaching its goals of the playoffs by winning against another newcomer to the LSA, A&M-CC.
SU had never played the Islanders in regular season, but has met them in previous A&M tourneys two times before. Both times SU came away with a win. Sunday would be no different as SU quickly got into the win column, pulling to .500 for the young season with a score of 13-5.
SU came out and controlled the ball on the offensive side for 7 of the first 8 minutes, taking numerous shots, and controlling ground balls, and the tempo of the game. Despite this newfound offensive effort, however, SU could not find the back of the net, as the goalie and the defense deflected shot after shot off their bodies.
In fact, the first score of the game came on a fast break by the Islanders, who then proceeded to trade goals with SU for the remainder of the first quarter, ending with an Islanders lead of 3-2. SU immediately went down 4-2 as the second quarter began, until David Caldwell and Matt Biermacher took the game over offensively. Both had 4 goals apiece and by half-time had helped pull SU into a tenuous 6-5 lead.
That was all the Bucs would need the rest of the day as the SU defense cramped down and shut off the only shooters the Islanders had the rest of the game. The Islanders goalie kept the game close through the third at 8-5, when SU finally pulled away and wore the Islanders down.
Far fewer flags flew today than against UTA, and all of the 22 (that's right SU now has 22 guys on the team) got playing time, especially most of the fourth quarter.
Thompson and Jenkins did an exceptional job at long pole keeping the Islanders shooters at bay, and the middies sucked it up after getting burned by only outside shots the day before, to attack the outside shot before it had a chance to get out of the stick. Daniel's day in goal was much easier than the day before.
Several players new to the game made great impressions and will be valuable contributors as the season goes on. Namely Mike Jeffcoat and Jay Gupta, two first year players, scored the first of hopefully many goals in their young SU careers.
Andrew Kerr did an exceptional job of picking up ground balls and controlling the tempo of the game when on the field. Jurica, absent for all of last year, and a welcome returner in his senior season, showed why he was rookie of the year his freshman year.
All players did a great job, and the defense is definitely waiting for the offense to "find itself". The game against the Islanders hopefully put the Bucs a step closer to nailing down what we have been working on so hard in practice, as we immediately turn around and travel to UTSA next Sunday for another must win conference game if the Bucs want to keep their hopes alive of making the championship.
With the loss to conference foe UTA, SU now has to win out against UTSA, UT-Dallas, AC, and St. Ed's, an achievable goal if the Bucs continue to get better as the season goes on. With the improvement from just one day to the next, there is no reason to expect any different.
Stein played a great game, winning virtually every face-off and scoring a goal on man-up, and Barbour also had an assist and two goals, including the first of the game for SU, with a rocket in the top left corner.
We appreciate all the fans that braved that lovely Texas January wet and cold weather to support the Bucs.