Editor’s Note: Please welcome University of Georgia Junior midfielder and Team President, Conner Reed to MCLA Fan. He will be writing about the Bulldogs throughout the 2013 season as they compete in the SELC D1 and make a run for the National Tournament. See all of Conner’s exploits on the season here.
Dawgs Close Out Regular Season
This past weekend the Georgia Bulldogs brought their regular season to a close with division games against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and Ole Miss Rebels.
Saturday afternoon brought the first time the Dawgs had played at Georgia Tech in a long while, as most of these in-state rivalry games are played at metro-Atlanta area high schools to draw the bigger crowds. There’s another good reason we never play at Tech: that “turf” – and I’m using the word turf loosely. Anyone who has played there can attest to this. The green carpet is definitely a home-field advantage for the Jackets, but Saturday would be the last ever game on this surface. And Tech made it count.
Both teams play a very similar style: both love to get into settled six-on-six and grind it out for 4 quarters. Everyone knew that this game was going to be a battle from the opening whistle. The Jackets drew first blood early. The first quarter went by quickly, and Georgia Tech saw themselves up 2-0. Sophomore midfielder George Walker found the back of the net early in the second quarter to bring the Dawgs within one. Tech would score on a fast break soon after, and the grind would resume. Tech put in one more before senior midfielder Matt Dumbleton followed his own shot and put in a chip shot goal right before halftime, making it 4-2 Jackets. I’m pretty sure it was an 8 iron.
The second half started a lot like the first half did with the Jackets putting one in early on the Dawgs defense. Junior midfielder Conner Reed would bring Georgia within two, but again Tech stopped any momentum UGA would gather. In the fourth, Walker and Dumbleton would both add one more each. It wasn’t enough, as Tech added two of their own to win it 8-5. This was the first time UGA has lost to Tech in over a decade and the first time in over 3 years they have not won the SELC Southwest division.
Sunday brought a make-up game against the Ole Miss Rebels in Oxford, MS. We decided to make the trip there and back in one day, which may not have been the brightest idea. So 6am Sunday rolled around and we headed out to Oxford, but not how we thought we would. The team met up in Atlanta waiting to load up a couple 12-passenger vans for the trip. Long story short, a few hours later we caravanned in our own cars, not vans, down I-20 to Mississippi. Life of a club lacrosse team sometimes.
When we finally made it out to Oxford, the team got straight to business. UGA went up 2-0 early and tried to grind out the opening frame, possessing the ball most of the quarter. In the second, the Dawgs and Rebels would trade goals and UGA would go into halftime up 4-2. However, in the third quarter, the Rebels came alive and got the transition game going. Ole Miss put in 6, and the Dawgs found themselves down 8-5 going into the fourth. UGA woke up, however, and put on an offensive clinic for the last quarter. Georgia scored 9 times to walk away with a 14-11 win, closing out a 12-4 regular season. Freshman goalie Greg Rose made 12 saves in a gritty performance in net. The Dawgs loaded back up and rolled back east. I walked through my door at 1:30am to close out what was, to say the least, a long and interesting day.
In other Georgia Lacrosse news, the UGA Women’s Lacrosse Team won the SWLL Championship Sunday with a 10-7 win over the Florida Gators. Callie Wheatley and Emma Goodnow both had hat tricks in the championship game and senior goalie Emily Seidel was named tournament MVP. The Lady Dawgs head out to Colorado Springs in a couple weeks as the #3 seed in the WCLA national tournament, facing the Minnesota Gophers in the first round.
For the men’s team, the SELC Tournament is this weekend in Johns Creek, Georgia. The Dawgs open with a rematch against the Clemson Tigers on Friday night at South Forsyth High School. For more information, check out www.ugalacrosse.com, our Facebook (UGA Men’s Lacrosse Team), or our Twitter (@ugalax).