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 Take First Fall
Last Friday, The Georgia Bulldogs had their last game in Athens of 2013. The Clemson Tigers came to town, continuing what has become a very heated rivalry in the past few years. Both very fast, physical, and talented teams use this as a measuring stick as the season moves toward the SELC Championships. And though it pains me to say this, it didn’t go exactly as planned for the Dawgs.
Clemson started hot with a quick goal in transition. A d-pole ripper from the top of the box began the scoring. The game saw a lot of transition for the rest of the quarter, but the Dawgs were not able to put one in. The Tigers moved the ball very well against a UGA defense that normally does not give up many goal runs. By half, Clemson had a 4-0 lead. While the Georgia transition game looked sloppy, the most surprising part of the first half was the lack of scoring. The Clemson keeper made 8 saves in the first half. “He stood on his head all night. Not much you can do when a goalie is hot like that,” commented freshman attackman Kyle Reed.
The second half saw a change in momentum to start the 3rd quarter. After another nice save from Clemson’s keeper, freshman midfielder Cayman Sotudeh was there for the put back. The Tigers responded quickly, but the Dawgs kept at it. Sophomores Michael Trainer and George Walker both scored, bringing the Dawgs within two of the Tigers. A fast break goal late in the 3rd quarter by senior attackman Trent Dean, his only of the game, brought the score to 5-4 going into the 4th.
In the end, Clemson proved too much on this night. Sophomore attackman Michael Trainer put one in early in the 4th to respond to another Clemson goal, but the Tigers netted 2 more goals later on to walk away with the 8-5 win. Clemson goalie Alex Branton finished with 21 saves on the night. Absolutely unreal. This was the Dawgs first loss of the season, bringing our record to 9-1 on the year and dropping our ranking to #22 in the country.
Division play comes calling once again, as Georgia will hit the road to Tuscaloosa and Auburn, for games with big playoff implications. As those of you who check out Lacrosse All Stars regularly may notice, this Friday night’s game will be the “battle of the blogs.” While Jake Springer’s blog continually blows mine out of the water, for our sake I hope the game is a little less one sided. Jake is a great goalie, so it should be a great night of lacrosse. Be sure to check our Twitter @UGALax, our Facebook page (UGA Men’s Lacrosse Team), and our website at GeorgiaLacrosse.com.