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 Out West
This past weekend, The University of Georgia Bulldogs found themselves in the mountains of Colorado for a little fun and some great lacrosse against #1 Colorado State and #2 Colorado. The adventure that would ensue would prove to be one of the most interesting and challenging weekends of the season thus far.
On Thursday afternoon, the Dawgs flew into Denver International Airport – or most of the team did. Some of the team took later flights, and the weather did not cooperate well. Myself and three others were stuck in Atlanta until 11pm, waiting on a flight that was supposed to leave at 7pm. We finally got on the plane, only to wait another hour on the tarmac. The four of us finally arrived in our hotel rooms at 2:30am Denver time, or what seemed like 4:30am to our east coast bodies. Needless to say, we skipped out on the 8am team tour of Sports Authority Field at Mile High, home of the Denver Broncos.
Friday brought the start of the real reason we flew all that way – a matchup with #1 Colorado State. The team was amped to get going, and it showed. Georgia jumped out to a quick lead in the first quarter. Junior midfielder Conner Reed started the scoring with a fast break goal off a CSU turnover. After the Rams answered, sophomore midfielder George Walker stuck one to put the Dawgs back up. Another goal by Reed and a man up tally by senior attackman Trent Dean put UGA up 4-1. Colorado State would bounce back with a great second quarter. UGA barely touched the ball, and the Rams made it count. The score was 5-4 CSU at the half.
The third quarter started a lot like how the second quarter ended: all Rams. CSU put up three more, to bring it to a total of 7 unanswered goals. UGA finally stopped the bleeding when senior midfielder Matt Dumbleton went low-to-low for a goal. Colorado State would answer and bring the score to 9-5 to start the fourth quarter. After CSU scored another, they received a two minute, non-releasable penalty, and the Dawgs felt the momentum turning. Dean would notch his second of the day on the EMO. After a great defensive stand, Reed put his third of the day in to bring the score to 10-7 with 10 minutes left in the fourth. Colorado State would stop the rally, however, and finished the game with two goals of their own. Goalie David Lumsden had 18 saves, including several point blank stops. Faceoff specialist sophomore Harrison Cassada did great work from the x, winning 9 faceoffs.
On Saturday, UGA looked to bounce back against #2 Colorado. This was a special day for both squads, as the game was held in Colorado’s Folsom Field following the school’s football spring game. If you’ve never played in a Division 1 football stadium, I highly recommend it – it’s insanely cool. However, the shine quickly wore off for the Dawgs, as Colorado jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead. Sophomore attackman Michael Trainer would bring Georgia to within 3 after scoring just before half on a beautiful pass from sophomore midfielder DJ Nuckolls. After a very sloppy first two quarters, UGA found itself within striking distance. But the second half proved to be just as much of a struggle for the Georgia offense. While the defense did a stellar job of holding the Buffs to only two goals in the third, the Colorado defense did just as good of a job holding back the Georgia offense. It looked like the altitude had finally caught up to the Dawgs, as they looked gassed for the entire fourth quarter. Trainer would add another goal in the fourth, but Colorado had the game well in hand. The final was 10-2 Buffaloes. The keeper Lumsden was once again unconscious in the net, tallying well over 20 saves for the day. Senior defensemen Brett Botto and Sean Whitney played lights out as well. I give it about five minutes after this goes live until I get texts from them saying they really didn’t play well – but don’t believe them.
While the results weren’t exactly what the Dawgs were looking for, it was a great weekend. Team trips are always a fun experience (you know what they say, what happens in Denver…). Attackman Kyle Reed and myself even got a free brownie sundae from our waitress in Boulder for our loss, so even that wasn’t completely terrible. The team learned a lot from our mistakes and from playing some great teams. It was great preparation for the playoff push. And don’t worry, my flight was only delayed an hour and half on the way back.
The Dawgs come back in state for some clean, old-fashioned hate with Georgia Tech on Saturday in Atlanta. This game not has bragging rights on the line, but a division title as well. UGA then travels out to Oxford, Mississippi for a makeup game with the Ole Miss Rebels. Keep up on all things Georgia Lacrosse through our website (www.ugalacrosse.com), Facebook page (UGA Men’s Lacrosse Team), and twitter account (@ugalax).