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Georgia Women's Club Lacrosse Team Drops Overtime Heartbreaker to Santa Clara in California ------<#)

The first loss of the season dropped the Georgia women’s club lacrosse team from first to fifth in the LaxPower.com computer ratings, and the Bulldogs’ final outing of the Santa Barbara Shootout saw them taking the field against fourth-ranked Santa Clara. Unfortunately, the Athenians fell just short, dropping an 11-10 decision in double-overtime.

Though the Broncos won the initial draw, senior midfielder Callie Wheatley came away with the steal, opening the door for senior attack Emma Goodnow to roll from the left and score to give the Red and Black an early 1-0 advantage. Sophomore midfielder Mady Katz took control of the subsequent draw, but Santa Clara came up with the save on a free position shot by junior attack Jenna Dreyer.

A Bronco score was negated by a crease violation, and a fast-break shot by junior attack Parisa Ayers was saved by the Santa Clara goalie. Freshman goalie Caroline Youngs returned the favor by stopping a shot at the other end, but the Broncos retained possession and made good on that extra opportunity with a game-tying goal. Wheatley won the ensuing draw, leading to a free position goal by Dreyer, yet Santa Clara came right back to snarl the score at two.

Although Youngs notched another save on a free position try to maintain the deadlock, the Broncos went out in front, 3-2, on their next shot on goal. Fortune thereafter failed to favor the bold, as Goodnow fired wide on her free position attempt to knot the contest anew, then junior midfielder Wallace Morgan’s subsequent try was high, then fellow junior midfielder Katie Ezell struck the post on a free position shot of her own, then sophomore attack Dessa Dunn pulled the ball back after Santa Clara drew a yellow card, then a shot by Dreyer was halted by the Broncos’ goalie.

The worm then began to turn for the Bulldogs. A whistle nullified an ensuing Santa Clara goal, and Youngs collected another save on the Broncos’ next free position attempt. Following a ground ball gathered up by junior midfielder Morgan Shumate, Dreyer evened the score at 3-3 with just under two minutes to play in the first half. A Wheatley steal after the Broncos’ control of the ensuing draw preserved the tie heading into intermission.

Katz captured control of the opening draw of the second half, but the Athenians failed subsequently to capitalize on a series of free position attempts. Youngs did her part, halting a Santa Clara shot to keep the score snarled, so it was Georgia that notched the initial goal after the break when senior midfielder Lindsay Brinker put the Red and Black ahead, 4-3, with 23 minutes remaining in the game. Katz won the next draw, as well, enabling Wheatley to find Dreyer for a fast-break goal.

Katz got the ball back for the Bulldogs once more, and Dreyer made the Broncos pay with the free position score that staked Georgia to a 6-3 advantage with 20 minutes showing on the clock. Control of the next draw led to another Red and Black goal when Dreyer fed Ayers for the score. A Bulldog turnover led to a Santa Clara fast break to make it 7-4 inside the final 15 minutes, however, and the Broncos pulled to within two upon taking control of the ensuing draw.

Youngs saved Santa Clara’s next shot on goal, though, and Ayers scored off of a pass from behind the goal by senior attack Murphy Ferguson. The Broncos responded, inching to within 8-6 on a free position shot with fewer than twelve minutes left before cutting the margin to a single goal with eleven minutes to play. Katz won the draw, Dreyer used a pair of spin moves to get in position, and the Bulldogs extended their lead, only to have Santa Clara make it a 9-8 game on a free position shot with nine minutes remaining.

Despite another Youngs save on a free position shot and a charge call against the Broncos, Santa Clara knotted the score at nine with fewer than four and a half minutes left and took the lead with 3:15 showing on the clock. The Californians continued to maintain draw control throughout the closing minutes of the contest, limiting the Athenians’ offensive opportunities, but the Bulldogs came up with a turnover and called a timeout with twelve seconds showing on the clock.

Play resumed with Dreyer in possession of the ball near midfield. The junior attack scored off of a sprint with three seconds remaining in regulation to send the game to the first three-minute overtime period, in which the combination of saves and turnovers prevented any additional scoring. To a second three-minute extra period the contest proceeded, and there the pattern continued, making a third sudden-death overtime appear likely until Santa Clara scored the go-ahead goal with fewer than three seconds showing on the clock. Inadequate time remained for an additional miracle, so the valiant Georgia women’s club lacrosse team went down to defeat, concluding a 2-2 run through a Santa Barbara Shootout that pitted the Bulldogs against some of the elite teams in the country, among the ranks of which the Athenians undeniably belong.

Inasmuch as the Red and Black ladies will be back in action against the Florida club team in Athens next Saturday, now is an opportune time to note that there ain’t never been anything wrong with being a Georgia Bulldog that beating the Gators couldn’t fix.

Go ‘Dawgs!

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