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Jackets Tame Bulldogs

Jackets Tame Bulldogs

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket Men's Lacrosse Team closed out their regular season schedule on Saturday against the Georgia Bulldogs.  The rivalry game took on even more meaning as the Jackets celebrated both Senior Day as well as Founders Day Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the establishment of modern lacrosse in the State of Georgia at Georgia Tech by Dr JB Crenshaw.  The winner of the game would wrap up second place in the SELC North and host a quarter-final game, while the loser would finish third and have to travel to play the University of Florida. 

The setting for the game was nearly perfect on a sun splashed Roe Stamps Field.  Fans were lined up four deep on the sideline with additional spectators lining the parking deck.   The pep band and Ramblin' Wreck both made appearances as well adding to the atmosphere. The game started slow as both teams took a little time to find their footing.  The Bulldogs looked to have struck first, but the goal was waved off due to a goal mouth violation.  Senior Asher Wagnon got the Jackets on the board first halfway through the first quarter when he dodged underneath and snuck a shot past the Georgia goalie.  Both teams spent the next few minutes feeling things out.  Brooks Baro found Pierce Quarles on the backside in early offense and Quarles fired home a shot to put the Jackets ahead by two.  On the ensuing faceoff, Ben Skopicki drew a foul and pushed the ball forward to Baro who beat his man and fed Joseph Rose on the crease for his first goal of the game.  The Bulldogs won the man-down faceoff, but the Jackets were able to get the ball back and run their extra-man offense.  Matt Seifert fed Andrew Belli who stuck a shot right in the corner to give the Jackets a four-goal lead to close the first quarter. 

The second quarter started with Matt Seifert striking again as he swept from the left wing and got to the middle before beating the goalie.  The Bulldogs took advantage of an extra- man opportunity early in the second quarter to get on the board.  Quarles answered the Bulldogs goal on the next possession.  The Bulldogs would not go away and answered with a goal of their own.  Asher Wagnon found Joseph Rose with a bounce pass in transition to stretch the Jacket lead to 7-2.  As is expected in a rivalry game the Bulldogs would not relent.  They scored the final two goals of the half to bring the score to 7-4 in favor of the Jackets.  Both teams had been on runs in the first half and the next run of the game would be critical. 

The Bulldogs started the third quarter with an extra man opportunity and scored 24 seconds into quarter on a long skip pass to a step-down shot.  Two minutes later the Bulldogs would score again to pull within one goal.  Brooks Baro scored unassisted on the next Jackets possession, but unfortunately this would be the only goal of the quarter for the Jackets.  The Bulldogs scored on their next possession to pull back within one.  The Bulldogs scored on three straight possessions to take a two-goal lead into the quarter break. 

The Jackets faced adversity once again and had to look inward to regain their composure.  The defense, led by Hudson Higgins, George Corbin, and Carrington Kelsey, played connected lacrosse in the fourth quarter, turning away the Bulldog dodgers.  When the Bulldogs got looks on goal, Peter Zagrobelny turned them away.  Zagrobelny finished with 19 saves for the Jackets including five in the fourth quarter.  Joseph Rose brought the Jackets within one when he scooped a rebound and scored.  Two minutes later with the Jackets trailing by one and tensions high, the Jackets responded.  Freshman Andrew Belli scored two goals in less than a minute with Wagnon assisting on the second one to put the Jackets ahead by one.  Ben Skopicki won the faceoff after the second Belli goal and pushed it forward creating a fast break and fed Brooks Baro who fired home a shot from the right wing.  The Jackets fans and bench erupted as the goal capped a three-goal run in 70 seconds that put the Jackets ahead by two with 7:20 remaining in the game.  The Bulldogs responded with a goal of their own to cut the lead to one.  On the next possession freshman DJ Louis swept from the left wing and drew a slide before feeding a wide open Wagnon on the backside who unleashed a shot to the backside pipe that beat the Bulldog keeper to put the Jackets ahead by two.  The Jackets were able to possess the ball for most of the final minutes of the game and closed out the 13-11 victory. 

The Jacket seniors  Ian Bugbee, Seb Cook, Carrington Kelsey, Curran Myers, and Asher Wagnon were able to get a win over Georgia in their final regular season game. 

The Jackets will host the Auburn Tigers on April 13 in the quarter-final round of the SELC Tournament.