SU keeps rolling with another close one

3/30/03

Southwestern hosted the Bobcats this past Saturday to its largest crowd of the season on what turned out to be one of the most beautiful days of the year. SU did not disappoint all the fans who came out as they were treated to a back and forth game with several lead changes and excellent lacrosse.

SU was able to avenge its loss to SWT last year down in San Marcos (only the second time SWT has beat the Pirates in the history of the match-up)with solid team play. The win gave SU another win (7- 2)and some great confidence as it heads into the last game of the season against the unanimous pre-season #1 team in the Division, St. Ed's this next Sunday.

The game started out and finished with a very fast pace. Seldom in between did the tempo slow for either team. At the end it showed as the heat took its toll on both teams. SU and SWT traded goals the first quarter before seeing one of our players called for an illegal stick to start the second quarter. Immediately SWT capitalized and was able to place two goals in the net during the non-releasable penalty. In fact, that was the difference as SWT took a 7-5 lead going into the third.

SU started off the third controlling the game, although both teams made numerous mental mistakes that saw the ball get turned over repeatedly to each team. By the end of the third SU had the lead by one.

Again, at between the quarter stick checks, the refs threw flags, but this time both sticks checked were illegal and the teams started off the final quarter playing the first three minutes with a five on five. Again SWT was able to capitalize with two goals and took the lead.

As it has done so many times this year, SU came back and tied the game halfway through the quarter before seeing SWT take the lead once again with a little over five minutes in the game 11-10.

One thing that SU was able to do was face-off very well. That coupled with a couple of SWT penalties allowed SU to tie the game with a little over three minutes left.

With the third overtime of the year looming and a SWT team hungry for their first win of the season, SU made a great defensive stand, gained control and got it to the offensive end for a timeout with less than two minutes remaining. The offense was able to find first year Mike Jeffcoat wide open about eight meters out from the crease and he sent a rocket past the goalie to give SU the last lead of the game.

SWT did have its chances as SU was not able to keep the ball in its offensive zone. The defense again kept SWT at bay and the final seconds ticked off while SWT had possession without even a shot on goal.

Caldwell, Makal and Biermacher played great, and Stein had some key assists when it really counted that made the difference. Everyone contributed. Jay Gupta made a nice assist to Frank in the third to give SU the lead for a brief time, and big Marc Jurica, out for the past few weeks, came back with a vengeance with two literally unstoppable goals.

Again Winters came in and proved he can play valuable minutes at defense, as did Wilson, and both OM and Baker gave the team some quality minutes. Their work in practice is really starting to pay off. We especially appreciate all the fans and parents, including Bakers' mom who came all the way from Georgia to see him play.

We will sadly miss Rhonda, the trainer who has been assigned to every home game for the past two years as she will be moving on next year. Rhonda has been great, and we have definitely put her to work (a lot) over the past couple of seasons.

This was the first time a Div. B school defeated a Div. A school this season, but most importantly was good preparation for the biggest game of the year next weekend.

St. Ed's has literally been unstoppable. SU has the task of playing ST. Ed's on their turf and coming away with a win for a share of the crown in the Western Conference. If SU wins, it still has a chance to make the playoffs, along with St. Ed's and UTA. One team will be left out and all three have played great lacrosse.

But SU has to win for that to matter. The guys have had this on their calendar for the entire season, and are hoping that a lot of people will take the short trip down to the game at ST. Ed's in Austin to support the Bucs on what is turning out to be one of the biggest games for SU Men's lacrosse in years.

We sadly said goodbye to Ben Thompson, John Jenkins, Eric Strein and Marc Jurica, all seniors and all playing their last home games ever for SU. The win was for them as much as anyone as they have all, at times endured some pretty harsh seasons.

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