Men's Lacrosse: And so begins the SELC Championships
It was an anticlimactic end to an otherwise stellar year for Hokies Lacrosse. Tech steam rolled out of the gate, manhandling everyone who stood in their path. About half way through the season something changed. Games became closer and as goals started to dry up for the most part. Tech, normally VERY stout on defense was giving up goals in a way that that is uncharacteristic of their defensive philosophy. I think it started with the SUNY Buffalo. The Hokies were up 5-0 at the half against the #8 team in the country and then the wheels came off. As the waning part of the season progressed, it was all Tech could do to put up double digit points, also uncharacteristic of a normally powerful offense, struggling to finish the season. The lowest of low points came to a mediocre West Virginia squad that Tech has blown out every single year..except this one. They never separated during that game and in the end their offense could not find the fire power to squeak out a win losing by a single goal being outscored by one in the fourth quarter.
The Hokies closed with a solid thumping of Kentucky, nothing to write home about, to close their regular season after suffering their first SELC division loss ever at hands of WVU. Fast forward a week to the SELC tournament. Tech found themselves taking on a solid USC team the barely manged to beat 12-11 in the regular season. Things were even money on this first round game in my opinion based how the Hokies limped to the regular season finish line.
The Hokies regroup. In their typical fashion, the Hokies spanked the Gamecocks in a dominating performance in the first round of the playoffs easily sweeping aside USC 11-4. It was never close.
In a dramatic turn, Tennessee rolled into Georgia and stunned #17 Clemson in their first round match-up 12-9. I don't know what to make of that as Clemson is leding in almost every SELC statistical category. The Hokies pulled out a regular season one point win at Clemson in a very hard fought game. So the Hokies face off against the Volunteers this afternoon at 5:30 playing for a championship game birth on the line. On the other side of the bracket, UGA and FSU beat Florida and Alabama respectively to advanced the semis and for their shot at the conference crown tomorrow afternoon.
VT handle the UT in the regular season 12-8 but it wasn't a walk in the park. It appears the Vol's have improved somewhat but the Hokies look like they've come to play and win it all. Time will tell but I'm not as pessimistic as I was last week. They still need to find a better grove on offense and increase their scoring productivity to see this thing through. TO nights game will tell us a lot about the Hokies' chances. I'm predicting another FSU/VT winner take all slobber knocker tomorrow but win tonight first. GO HOKIES!
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