By eliminating the Florida Gators from the conference playoffs, the Georgia men’s lacrosse team advanced through the SELC bracket to face Florida State in the tournament semifinals in a rematch of a regular-season confrontation between the Southwest Division champion Bulldogs and the Southeast Division champion Seminoles. Earlier in the year, the Tribe defeated the ‘Dawgs, 13-6, and, although the score was closer this time around, the result, unfortunately, was the same.
Though the ‘Noles drew first blood, going up, 1-0, in the opening minute, the Red and Black built up a 5-2 lead early in the second quarter. FSU narrowed the gap prior to intermission, so Georgia headed to halftime holding a 5-4 advantage. Two quick goals to start the second half extended that edge to 7-4, and, with roughly four and a half minutes remaining in the third period, freshman midfielder (and Alpharetta product) George Walker staked the Bulldogs to an 8-5 lead with an unassisted goal.
The Classic City Canines were up by two when the fourth quarter began, but the Seminoles tied the score at eight apiece with eight and a half minutes left in the contest. Florida State went up by one with six minutes to play, but, when four minutes remained, the score was snarled at nine per side. Again the Tribe took the lead, going up, 10-9, with two minutes to go, and that wound up being the final score.
At 13-3-1, Georgia fell short of an SELC championship but otherwise put together a fine season, complete with a division crown and a number of rivalry wins. Will it be enough to get the 18th-ranked Bulldogs to Greenville, S.C., for the MCLA Championship Tournament that begins there on May 14? Stay tuned. . . .