Both Georgia lacrosse teams were in action today, and both continued their habit of finishing games having scored more goals than their opponents. The two sets of Bulldogs between them went 3-0 today, with the women continuing their run of success at the Santa Barbara Shootout and the men taking down bitter rival Florida.
Saturday’s Red and Black lax action got underway in Gainesville at 1:00 p.m. The Georgia men drew first blood against the Gators when freshman midfielder Kyle Reed scored an unassisted goal with nine and a half minutes remaining in the first period. Sophomore attacker Daniel O’Meara and sophomore midfielder D.J. Nuckolls combined for the goal that put the Red and Black up, 2-1, but Florida tied it up with a score six seconds before the end of the first quarter.
Junior midfielder Conner Reed and Kyle Reed both scored unassisted goals to make it a 4-2 game, then the younger Reed carded the hat trick with a score off of a behind-the-back assist by O’Meara. The Orange and Blue cut their deficit to 5-3 with two minutes remaining in the half.
O’Meara found the back of the net off of an assist by senior attacker Trent Dean before Conner Reed scored on the fast break to extend the Bulldogs’ edge to 7-4. Dean scored twice, with Kyle Reed’s third unassisted goal and sophomore goalie David Lumsden’s seventh save sandwiched between them, to put Georgia ahead, 10-4, with two minutes left in the third quarter.
Aided by sophomore midfielder Harrison Cassada’s seventh victory in as many second-half faceoffs, O’Meara scored again, then Dean added another goal to make it 12-5. Florida narrowed the gap with a man advantage, but sophomore midfielder George Walker answered with a score of his own to make the final margin 13-6 in a game in which the Red and Black were well represented both among Alpharetta High School alumni and in the penalty box.
At 3:00 on the other side of the continent, the UCLA women’s lacrosse team took an early 1-0 lead on the Georgia ladies, but junior attacker Murphy Ferguson snarled the score before the Bruins went out in front once more. Ferguson forced another tie, then the California girls inched ahead again, 3-2. A fast break produced a goal by sophomore attacker Jenna Dreyer, and the score was deadlocked anew, yet the pattern persisted when UCLA took a 4-3 lead.
Sophomore midfielder Katie Ezell scored back-to-back goals to give the Athenians their first lead of the game, so it was the Bruins’ turn to knot the score. It was at that point that the Bulldogs took control of the contest, starting when senior midfielder Melissa Moore got the draw and took it in for the score. Consecutive goals by Ezell made it 8-5 for the Red and Black, and there the margin remained at halftime.
The Classic City Canines picked up where they left off after the break when Ferguson scored two in a row to give Georgia a five-goal edge. Dreyer and sophomore attacker Parisa Ayers tacked on two more goals before the Bruins scored a pair to narrow the gap. Ezell found the back of the net off of a pass from Ferguson to shut down the UCLA comeback attempt, then junior attacker Emma Goodnow closed out the scoring with the game’s last goal to make it a 14-7 final margin.
Six hours later, the Georgia women were back in action, this time against Michigan. Ezell tallied the first goal of the game to give the Bulldogs an early 1-0 lead, then Dreyer scored after junior midfielder Callie Wheatley forced a turnover. The Wolverines scored to cut their deficit to 2-1, and both junior midfielder Lindsay Brinker and sophomore midfielder Morgan Shumate drew yellow cards, but the Red and Black kept up the pressure with a fastbreak goal by Ferguson and a score by Ezell on a free position shot to put the Athenians ahead, 4-1.
The Maize and Blue scored to pull within two, only to see Ayers notch a goal three minutes later to make it a 5-2 game. Senior goalie Emily Seidel made the save that preserved that margin two minutes before sophomore defender Brooks Leavell scored to extend the Bulldogs’ edge to four goals. A couple of minutes after that, Dreyer added another to forge a 7-2 Georgia advantage. Thanks to a steal by freshman midfielder Arden Birdwell, that score still held up at the half.
The second half started with Shumate scoring, but Michigan answered with the goal that made it 8-3. Dreyer did not let that affront stand unrebutted, however, as the sophomore attacker lengthened the Bulldogs’ lead with a fastbreak goal. Despite another save by Seidel and a takeaway by Shumate, the Wolverines came right back to cut the score to 9-7 with a quartet of goals.
With the lead now in peril, the Red and Black poured in a pair of scores, the second of which came on an Ayers steal. Michigan found the back of the net again, necessitating that Ezell tally another goal to put Georgia out in front by a 12-8 margin. Seidel then took over, making save after save to keep the Wolverines from drawing any nearer until time expired.
Both Georgia lacrosse teams kept the good times rolling today, and the ladies will be back in action again tomorrow, when they will close out the Santa Barbara Shootout against Virginia at noon Eastern. The gentlemen will take on Central Florida next Friday.