Friday was a busy day in Bulldog Nation, not least of all for the Georgia women’s gymnastics and men’s lacrosse teams, both of whom carded significant victories in impressive fashion. Here, in brief, is what happened earlier this evening to produce wins in those two sports:
The sixth-ranked Gym Dogs hosted third-ranked Arkansas in Stegeman Coliseum on Friday night in a crucial conference meet for the newly-resurgent Georgia gymnastics program. The Razorbacks outperformed the Red and Black on the vault by carding the 49.3 that allowed the visitors to edge the Athenians, who cobbled together a cumulative 49.275 on the strength of 9.85s from Cat Hires and Sarah Persinger, a 9.875 from Kaylan Earls, and a 9.9 from Kat Ding.
Georgia, however, held a 49.175-48.9 advantage on the bars, where Gina Nuccio’s 9.875 and Ding’s 9.95 staked the Gym Dogs to a halftime lead. In the final two rotations, the Red and Black got the better of their guests on the beam (49.175-48.825) and in the floor exercise (49.1-48.85). Georgia was led by Noel Couch (9.825), Ding (9.85), and Shayla Worley (9.9) on the beam, and by Ding, Earls, and Nuccio (all with 9.85s) on the floor.
When all the figures were tallied, Kat Ding had posted a career-best all-around 39.55, and the Gym Dogs had notched a 196.725-195.875 victory over a higher-ranked league rival against whom the Red and Black had put up team marks of 49.1 or better on each apparatus. For the first time since his first year, I’m actually starting to feel good about the stature of Bulldog women’s gymnastics under Jay Clark. This team is performing well and getting better, and, if those trends continue, Georgia will peak at precisely the right time. Keep your fingers crossed, folks.
On Friday evening, the Georgia men’s lacrosse team took on Auburn at North Springs High School in Sandy Springs, where the Bulldogs leapt out to a 4-2 first-quarter lead on a pair of scores by senior midfielder Matt O’Neil. The other two scorers from the opening period, midfielders Moore Hamilton and Philip Seo, were joined by fellow midfielders Daniel Naughton, Daniel O’Meara, and Garrett Whitehurst, whose goals in the second frame staked the Red and Black to a 7-4 halftime lead.
Thanks to the strong defensive play of goalie Conor Busby and defender Stuart Seiler, the Bulldogs entered the final frame holding a 7-5 lead and proceeded to put the contest away with two fourth-quarter goals apiece by attacker Trent Dean and midfielder Conner Reed. With the 11-5 triumph, the Georgia men’s lacrosse team ran its record to 3-0 heading into next weekend’s tournament in Tallahassee, when the Red and Black will go up against South Carolina, Florida State, and Miami on consecutive days.