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spacer spacer  MEN'S LACROSSE: GAME SUMMARIES (2005) spacer
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SU LETS UPSET SLIP THROUGH ITS HANDS (3/5/05)

On Saturday, the Bucs hosted TSU, a Div. A team headed for the playoffs, and one that has continually improved under coach Campbell over the past couple of years.

For most, in fact anyone watching the predictions, this game was a no brainer. Texas State would win, and do so in a fashion that was indicative of the scores they have been putting up all year.

In other words, SU had no chance. The only problem with that is that SU has a pretty good team this year, and while they are still going through some growing pains, as all teams are, the Bucs knew they could play a solid game and surprise everyone.

The team, continually improving with each day, came out in front of another large crowd and took control from the very beginning. SU's defense was stellar from the start, and the rest of the team out-hustled and outplayed TSU from the first whistle until half-time.

Many open shots missed goals for both teams, but SU was able to get TSU on their heels early and take advantage early and often on man up opportunities.

Southwestern took a 5-2 lead into half-time, with the satisfaction of having played with total dominance.

Credit must be given to an excellent and unflustered TSU team. As the third started, TSU came out, obviously a little miffed about the score, and proceeded to rack up penalty after penalty including at one point a three man up for SU.

At such a crucial time in the game, TSU was the team that took advantage, scoring on two man-downs, and forcing itself and its will back into the game, finally tying the game at 6 with just under three minutes left in the third.

After another quick goal just before the quarter ended, TSU was able to take its first lead of the game into the fourth. TSU never looked back. Within a span of 4 minutes, TSU bounced its lead to 10-6 before SU was able to steady itself.

During its run, TSU was able to score on several fast breaks, catching our guys and our goalie in one on one situations. Jake had no chance. If not for the fast breaks, SU might have won handily. TSU made things happen, however. The sign of a good team, they created opportunities out of adversity and capitalized on them.

With just under three minutes left in the game, SU was able to put a couple of quick goals in to get within two at 9-11. Again, as happened most of the day, SU was able to win the face-off. In the process of gaining possession, however, SU was called for touching the ball with the hands, off a fluke bounce. That was all TSU needed.

Selling out to get the ball back, TSU was able to get one more goal and then run the clock out while on a man up.

TSU was a very good test for the Bucs, who have not seen this type of competition since their first loss of the season. Oddly enough, it was the defense (not just long poles), the area that has been so stable all year, that got torched in the second half. It truly was a game that the Bucs could have stolen. TSU simply refused to lose. Everything else was equal. both teams were extremely physical, fought hard in the open and on ground balls, and forced the action.

TSU was able to shut SU down on its numerous man ups in the second half early on, and that was probably the turning point.

The Bucs have almost a month off between Spring Break and Easter Break, before hosting Trinity at home for the first time in almost 4 years. This will be a huge game as both teams should be in the playoffs, and Trinity has looked solid all year, securing the number one seed in the South division already. In fact, it is likely this could be a prelude to a match-up in the playoffs in Waco.

We appreciate all the fans and the Bobcats for making the trek to the fields, and wish TSU the best in their first playoff appearance in Div. A.

Finally, Matt Gainey, who along with most of the guys on the team , again had an exceptional day, moved within striking distance of the elite 100 goal club. Gainey passed the 100 point club against Austin College a couple of weeks back and will reach the Hall of Honor for SU lacrosse by the end of the season. What makes this so impressive is the fact that Gainey only played in 5 games his freshmen year and skipped his entire sophomore season. In literally one and a half years, Gainey has come to this point.

As lacrosse is truly a team sport, the individual accolades mean less than the W, but credit should be given for the short and storied career that is unfolding by the BMXer from San Antonio.

Bill Bowman


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