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.
Dawgs Start 3-0
Finally the 2013 season has arrived! After the grueling preseason practices, the time has come for what every player yearns for: GAMEDAY.
For the Georgia Bulldogs, that time could not have come soon enough. And the team has showed this hunger since the opening whistle of the 2013 season. On 2/9, the Dawgs opened against Wake Forest in front of a crowd of 200+ in Athens. Sophomore attackman Daniel O’Meara opened the team’s scoring with a goal early in the first quarter. The onslaught from the attack would continue, as O’Meara and senior attackman Trent Dean combined for 7 goals on the day. Sophomore attackman Michael Trainer added two assists and junior midfielder Conner Reed also netted 2 goals. Freshmen Cayman Sotudeh and Taylor Wharton scored their first career goals. Senior Matt Dumbleton and sophomore Evan Hamrick both added goals as well. The defense picked up where it left off last season and stifled the Wake offense. Seniors Brett Botto and Sean Whitney, along with sophomore Peter DeWispelaere, were great in the box in front of goalie Alex Austin, who made 15 saves. Faceoff specialist Harrison Cassda dominated the X with 9 faceoffs.
The next day, the Dawgs faced off with the Kennesaw State Owls at Sprayberry High School, in a game benefitting the Andrew Oswald Memorial Fund. After going down 1-0 early, Georgia took the lead on goals by Dean and O’Meara. They never looked back. Both Dean and O’Meara ended with hat tricks. From the midfield, sophomore George Walker put two in the back of the net, including one high heater off the post. Rookies DJ Nuckolls, Kevin Doran, Karthik Bhat (2), and Ben Louderback all scored their first career goals, and sophomore Beanie Osekowski scored his first of the season, adding a little spice with a celebratory salsa dance. The defense was once again impenetrable, as the big men inside kept the KSU offense far away from the crease. Sophomore goalie David Lumsden had 16 saves in net, and faceoff man Harrison Cassada put on another clinic with 13 faceoff wins. Freshman Patrick Fennell also added two FO wins.
The Dawgs rolled down to Gainesville this past Saturday for a rivalry game with the Florida Gators. Early on, the offense was sloppy, but the defense bailed them out. DeWispelaere and Whitney had several takeaways in the early going, and Brett Botto set the physical tone for anyone coming across the crease. Freshman attacker Kyle Reed started the scoring with a ripper midway through the first quarter – one of four on the day. The game was back and forth in the first half, 2-2 at the end of the first and 5-3 at half. The Gators scored early in the 3rd, but the Dawgs took control with goals by O’Meara, C. Reed, and Dean all in the span of about 3 minutes. UGA pulled away in the fourth and finished with 13 on the day. The key to the game, however, was between the boxes, as defensive middies senior Garret Whitehurst, junior Bobby Merryman, and freshman Evan Sather cleared the ball with almost 100% efficiency, while the Dawgs’ attackmen rode well and held the Gators to 50% in the clearing game. In addition, Harrison Cassada put on another show with 16 faceoff wins and David Lumsden had 9 saves.
The Dawgs head down to Tallahassee, FL this coming weekend for the Southern Shootout. Games will be with Central Florida, South Carolina, and Florida State.