Georgia Men's and Women's Club Lacrosse Teams Complete a Full Weekend

After going 3-0 last Saturday, the Georgia men’s and women’s lacrosse teams between them played half a dozen games this weekend. As always, the Red and Black ladies and gentlemen represented Bulldog Nation well, facing tough competition and coming away with an overall winning record.

The Georgia men’s club lacrosse team got its weekend underway with a home game against SELC rival Clemson on Friday night. Senior midfielder Evan Hamrick notched the evening’s first goal to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 advantage, and the home team built up a 5-0 lead before the Tigers scored their first goal with the Red and Black a man down. After the team received orange slices and cosmic brownies at the break, the Athenians’ 8-3 halftime edge was extended to 11-3 on a shot to the top right corner by sophomore midfielder John "Johnny New" Newar before the Jungaleers’ comeback began. Despite a flurry of late goals, Clemson came up short and Georgia carded the 13-6 victory.

The Red and Black men were back in action on Saturday, facing the North Carolina club team in Athens. Once again, the Bulldogs drew first blood on behalf of the nation’s oldest state-chartered university, as Georgia went out in front, 1-0, on an early goal by junior midfielder and team captain Cayman "Slayman" Sotudeh. The Classic City Canines carded a trio of unanswered goals before the Tar Heels got on the board, but the visitors from Chapel Hill pulled to within one in the second half ere goals by Newar, senior attack and team captain Michael Trainer, and freshman midfielder Johnny Mock closed out a 7-3 victory.

The Georgia women’s club lacrosse team had an even busier weekend than the guys, as the Red and Black ladies were in the Golden State for the annual Santa Barbara Shootout, in which they faced four fellow members of the top 20. The Bulldogs began their West Coast trip with a Friday doubleheader that commenced against the tournament’s host, UCSB. In 85-degree weather in the California early evening, junior attack Arden Birdwell scored the contest’s first goal. Birdwell and her fellow junior, midfielder and team captain Tali Brennan, were among the primary contributors to the Bulldogs’ 8-2 halftime lead over the hometown Gauchos, and solid second-half defense kept the Santa Barbara ladies from finding the back of the net, paving the way for an impressive 13-3 Georgia win in the tourney opener.

The Red and Black worked late in the Golden State, taking on defending national champion Pittsburgh at 11:00 p.m. Athens Standard Time on Friday night. A pass from senior attack and team captain Jenna Dreyer to her fellow senior and fellow captain, midfielder Katie Ezell, produced the goal that made it 1-0 for the good gals. Sound decision-making by Dreyer on free position shots helped push the Bulldogs’ lead to 6-1 at intermission. More quality D by the Athenians followed, including sophomore goalie Caroline Youngs coming up with stops, steals, and ground balls, and this evidently frustrated the Panthers, whose coach drew one of four yellow cards on Pitt. The outing ended with a solid 11-4 Georgia win.

Santa Clara took the initial lead against the Red and Black on Saturday after senior defender and team captain Brooks Leavell left the field with a sprained ankle. That, unfortunately, set the tone for the afternoon, as the Broncos built up a 3-0 edge while the Santa Clara goalie carded save after save. Birdwell cut into the Californians’ lead, but Santa Clara was up by three at the break and Georgia’s second-half comeback was marred by turnovers and yellow cards. The Bulldogs sustained the season’s first defeat, falling by a 9-4 margin.

The Red and Black wrapped up a full weekend against UCLA on Sunday. Although the Bruins scored first, the Athenians responded with goals from sophomore midfielder Nilla Paine off of an assist by junior attack Mady Katz and a Birdwell crease roll. After UCLA knotted the tally at two, senior attack Parisa Ayers and Dreyer carded consecutive goals. The Bruins came back once more, though, and the Californians held a 5-4 halftime advantage. The back-and-forth battle continued after the break, as the Bulldogs knotted the score at six on a Dreyer goal off of an Ayers assist from behind the net. The game remained tied at the end of regulation, but the Red and Black fell, 11-10, in an overtime that left the ladies’ Twitter feed, if not the ladies themselves, running low on battery power.

Next weekend, the Georgia men will host the club lacrosse teams from Florida and Duke at the club sports complex in the Classic City on Friday night and Sunday afternoon, respectively. Sandwiched between those outings will be the Georgia women’s clash with their South Carolina counterparts at the intramural fields in Athens on Saturday afternoon. The weekend of February 20-22 will be a good one to be in Clarke County cheering on the Red and Black in multiple sports, lacrosse most definitely among them. It’s worth making the trip if you can.

Go ‘Dawgs!

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