(Author’s Note: G-Day is a busy day in Bulldog Nation, and writeups regarding the spring scrimmage and the weekend’s other events will follow shortly. In the meantime, though, I bring you these recaps of the day’s lacrosse action, because I had to start somewhere, and this is where I chose to start.)
Both Bulldog lacrosse teams were in action on Saturday, with the men wrapping up the regular season against Georgia Tech and the women competing in the SWLL Tournament in Marietta. In the United States’ fastest-growing team sport, the Classic City Canines claimed a pair of early afternoon victories, though the day ended on a sour note in a hard-fought battle.
At 1:00 p.m. Eastern at Lassiter High School, the fifth-seeded (and 11th-ranked) Georgia women’s lacrosse team took on No. 4 seed South Carolina in a quarterfinal rematch of a 15-9 Red and Black win in Columbia three weeks earlier. The result was similar this time around, as the Lady Bulldogs dealt the Gamehens a 15-5 setback while, elsewhere in the bracket, top-seeded Florida trounced eighth-seeded Florida State, 21-1, to set up a semifinal showdown between the Red and Black and the Orange and Blue.
At 2:00 p.m. Eastern at Milton High School, as part of the Legacy Lacrosse Cup to honor the life of the late Parker Jackson, the 19th-ranked Georgia men’s lacrosse team squared off with Georgia Tech in a clash between the top two teams in the SELC South West Division. The Yellow Jackets leapt out to an early lead, building a 4-1 advantage thanks to three first-quarter goals by freshman attacker Michael Thomas.
The Red and Black rebounded, scoring three goals in the final five minutes of the second period to tie the game at halftime. Two Georgia scores in the last four and a half minutes of the third quarter gave the Bulldogs a 6-4 advantage, and the Athenians continued to pour it on in the final period, ultimately claiming a 10-4 victory over their in-state rivals.
At 6:00 p.m. Eastern, the Georgia ladies retook the field for their semifinal match with the Gator women. The Bulldogs went up, 3-0, on a trio of eight-meter goals by freshman attacker Jenna Dreyer (twice) and freshman midfielder Katie Ezell, after which a couple of saves by goalie Emily Seidel kept the Red and Black advantage at 3-1.
Sophomore midfielder Lindsay Brinker found the back of the net to extend the Athenians’ advantage to three goals before Florida fired a flurry of shots in a physical contest. Seidel saved several of them, but the Sunshine State Saurians had pulled to within one by the time sophomore midfielder Callie Wheatley pushed the Bulldogs’ edge to 5-3. Thanks to two more Dreyer scores, the second of them coming with ten seconds left in the half, the Red and Black led, 7-5, at intermission.
Florida scored twice to start the second half, tying the game before Orange and Blue senior attacker Brittini Peck drew her second yellow card and was forced to sit out the rest of the way, setting the stage for Ezell to earn an assist on a goal by attacker Kaitlin Shumate. Sophomore attacker Emma Goodnow then made it 9-7 in favor of the good gals, but the Gators tied it up and took the lead with a four-goal run.
Dreyer scored two more to forge an 11-all tie with just under ten and a half minutes remaining in the game, but, following a Seidel save, the Orange and Blue got the ball back with five and a half minutes to play and notched the go-ahead goal. A charge call against Georgia with 90 seconds to go gave the Gators possession and snuffed out the last hope for the Red and Black, who fell, 12-11, to the squad ranked third in the nation in the most recent WCLA poll.