Men's Lacrosse Update: Last two games of the regular season and Conf Championships
I can’t believe I have to write these words but the Hokies lost to the Mountaineers in Morgantown on Friday the 13th. That’s hard to swallow and unfortunately, I’ve not had the occasion to speak with Coach Nachlas but the card does seem right with respect to participation. It looks like people were missing but regardless the game was dead even after three and in the fourth when the Hokies needed it most, no one answered the bell. Down goes Frazier, Hokies lose 9-10.
With a week to stew in that debacle of a game (the eers didn’t even make the conference championships so, yeah debacle is fairly accurate), the Hokies had one shot at redemption before the conference championships against Kentucky. Just one other thing on the WVU loss, this is an eers team to lost to perennial bottom dweller East Carolina (2-9/0-4) 9-11 and to Richmond (7-3/1-3), a team the Hokies dominated 15-6, 7-14. I JUST CAN’T SEE THIS. So, anyway, after WVU I’m at even money with the Hokies who seem to be back to a Jekyll and Hyde consistency. But, somewhere in the week leading up to UK, the Hokies found some stones and bludgeoned the Wildcats mercilessly. Tech came out with a purpose for the first time in weeks and took it straight Kentucky posting a 9-2 halftime lead. But, like at #8 Buffalo (up 5-0 at the half only to lose 6-8), what would the second half tale be for a team that can’t seem to hold on to overwhelming leads? This time the Hokies didn’t let up and pulled across the finish line with a comfortable victory 16-7. Hats off to Matt Giannelli scoring 6 goals in the game, Charlie Patterson posting a 71% save rate in goal and Kevin Hayden with 6 points on the day (3g/3a).
VT was the Eers’ “Bowl Game” and Tech didn’t separate themselves through offense or defense and it cost them, BIG. In terms of Championship seedings and game times, Tech went from driver’s seat to cabin boy with a single loss. All the other Division champions are undefeated. This is the first divisional loss The Hokies have ever had…EVER. They paid for it in the polls as you would expect dropping from #9-#12. But losing to a team you typically manhandle to the tune of 20+ goals a game? Ouch.
So what now? The SELC Championships outside Atlanta, that’s what. The Hokies pulled what seems to be the toughest of the four divisional #2’s in South Carolina (6-5/3-1). The Hokies squeaked by the Gamecocks in Blaxburg back in March 12-11. Not exactly confidence inspiring. The Gamecocks have been playing the Hokies a little closer every year generally, gone are the days of 20-6 and 14-4 blow-outs. This will be a tough test for the Hokies. I think last year they went out in the first round for the first time ever so VT better come ready to play on Thursday because USC is going to have revenge and advancement on their minds and if anything is for certain, it’s that USC can taste victory against the Hokies after losing by only one goal in the regular season in Blaxburg. GO HOKIES!
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