A busy day for Georgia athletics overall was also a busy day for Bulldog lacrosse, as the Red and Black ladies split two hard-fought games as part of the A-Town Throwdown Tournament, while their male counterparts took on Pittsburgh in a home game that was relocated to Alpharetta, where threatening weather caused the contest to be called while the teams were tied.
On a windy, overcast afternoon in the Classic City, the fifth-ranked Lady Bulldogs quickly found themselves down a goal, as No. 8 Brigham Young took an early 1-0 lead. Though the Red and Black moved the ball downfield effectively, an errant shot on goal left Georgia scoreless, putting the Cougars in a position to leap out to a 4-0 advantage.
A pair of Bulldog shots proved fruitless before the Athenians finally found the back of the net, but BYU tacked on a goal with twelve seconds remaining before intermission to head to halftime sporting a 5-1 edge. That margin was extended shortly after the start of the second half, and, despite a save by goalie Emily Seidel, the Red and Black were down, 8-2, with roughly 15 minutes left to play.
The Georgia comeback then began, as the host squad cut the deficit to 8-3, then 8-4, then 8-5. With nine minutes remaining, the gap had been narrowed to 8-6, then the Bulldogs pulled to within one inside the final five minutes. Unfortunately, the second-half surge fell just short, as the Cougars iced the game with the goal that made it 9-7 with two minutes showing on the clock, and there the score stood when the game ended, despite the Red and Black ladies’ valiant effort.
The Georgia women’s lacrosse team had little time to contemplate its defeat, as the Lady Bulldogs had to take on No. 9 Colorado roughly an hour and a half later. Georgia quickly jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but, despite a pair of saves by Seidel, the visiting Buffaloes managed to tie the score. The Athenians surged back ahead, building up a 5-2 advantage and keeping that edge at the break, thanks to another save by Seidel at the halftime buzzer.
The Bulldogs extended their lead to 6-2 with 23 minutes remaining in the second half, but Colorado shaved that advantage to two goals in a three-minute span. The two teams then traded scores, giving the Red and Black a 7-5 lead with 14 minutes left. Georgia thereafter padded its margin with the goal that gave the game its final score of 8-5.
In the evening, the No. 22 Georgia men’s lacrosse team hosted the Pitt Panthers, whose junior attacker, Tyler Novotny, contributed consecutive goals and a subsequent assist to give the visitors a 3-1 lead. Following a Pittsburgh offsides penalty, the Bulldogs scored to pull within one, but the Panthers added another goal of their own to make it 4-2 at the end of the first quarter.
The Red and Black roared back in the second period, during which the score was tied at four goals per side. Only a save by Pitt goalie Chris Gorham prevented the Athenians from taking the lead, but the Pennsylvanians ended up breaking the deadlock, scoring twice to go up, 6-4, before Georgia cut the margin to a single goal with two minutes remaining in the half.
After trailing by one at intermission, the Bulldogs knotted the score once more with a third-quarter goal to make it 6-6. At that point, lightning and rain delayed the game, which was called on account of thunderstorms and a tornado touching down. Accordingly, the game ended in a tie, and, in response to the draw caused by severe weather endangering Peach State people and property, Pitt Panther partisans responded with the sort of class we have come to expect from our northern brethren:
Game called due to thunderstorms and a tornado touching down... Georgia gets lucky tying the game just before calling it #h2p— Pitt Men's Lacrosse (@PittPanthersLax) March 3, 2012
Well, O.K., then. Fortunately, as Lewis Grizzard used to say, Delta is ready when they are.