At the start of the day on Saturday, the Southwest Division standings of the Southeastern Lacrosse Conference showed the Georgia men’s lacrosse team in first place and the Crimson Tide club in second. Accordingly, there was much on the line when Alabama and Georgia faced off at Sprayberry High School in Marietta earlier this evening.
The Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead on the Tide with 14 minutes and 14 seconds remaining in the first quarter, but, six and a half minutes later, Alabama knotted the score at a goal per club. The Red and Black needed only 57 seconds to reclaim the lead, and a subsequent score by sophomore midfielder Conner Reed made it 3-1 for the Classic City Canines with three minutes remaining in the opening period.
Back-to-back ‘Bama scores by attacker Chris Palasek in the final 63 seconds of the stanza snarled the score at three apiece, and the Crimson Tide went out in front, 4-3, with a one-man advantage early in the second quarter. The Bulldogs responded, tying the game on a goal by senior attacker Cory Osekowski with a little over six minutes left to play, taking the lead when senior midfielder Brian Gordon found the back of the net inside the four-minute mark, and tacking on another score eleven seconds thereafter.
A late Alabama goal cut the Georgia lead to one at halftime, but the Athenians went up, 7-5, with roughly ten and a half minutes to play in the third period. Another late Tide goal again narrowed the margin to one at the start of the fourth quarter, and that tally remained unchanged until the Bulldogs added another goal with three and a half minutes showing on the board. The clock was down to its final 64 ticks when the Tuscaloosa club carded the score that made it 8-7, but that margin remained unchanged when the final seconds had elapsed, giving Georgia a significant SELC win.
To their credit, and to no one’s surprise, our fellow Southerners reacted a good deal more graciously to the outcome than some Pennsylvanians I could name.