Tech Takes Two Victories Over the Weekend

ATLANTA, GA - Georgia Tech took the field at Decatur High School Friday night versus the Auburn Tigers and earned 10-9 victory, improving to 9-3 on the season and more importantly improving to 2-1 in the Southwest region of the SELC.

The fourth quarter come from behind victory solidified a key match-up on April 14 versus their long time in state rival, the University of Georgia, for the regional championship and a berth in the conference tournament. The game was highlighted by the strong play of goaltender senior Ryan Solan (Alpharetta, GA/Alpharetta) and his 13 saves.

The team was paced by seven different scorers in the game none more thrilling than long stick midfielder and Junior, Ryan Foarde's (Atlanta, GA/St. Pius) first career goal in the fourth quarter which tied the game at eight goals a piece and gave Tech it's much needed momentum. Leading all scorers for Tech was freshman Michael Thomas' four goal performance.

The game was the first for both teams after some spring break time off. The Auburn players came out with fire and passion early scoring twice in the first seven minutes to claim an early 2-0 lead. Midway through the first quarter Tech got on the board when Colin Granger (Tallahassee, F/Leon) scored his first goal of the game on a transition opportunity.

Late in the first quarter Tech's leading scorer, Michael Thomas (Atlanta, GA/Westmintster), got in the scoring column to notch the game at 2 goals a piece to close out the first quarter of action. The second quarter saw Tech gain a one goal lead early on when Mick Stapleton (Woodstock, GA/Woodstock) notched the first of his two goals in the game.

The lead was short lived however as Auburn responded with three straight goals to take a 5-3 lead with five minutes remaining in the first half. But Tech would not go away easily. On a night when the defense was not at their best the offense did their best to keep it close. Thomas scored his second goal of the game on a broken clear by Auburn to get that game back to a one goal deficit.

But the Tigers would push the game back to a two goal margin with only three minutes to play. The Jackets entered the half down one when, with only two minutes on the clock, Stapleton broke free on a dodge and scored his second goal of the game. At the half Tech was trailing 6-5.

To start the fourth quarter Tech look energized to tie the game but Auburn had different ideas. Auburn struck first to increase their lead to two goals on a transition goal. But like before the Jackets would not go away. Trey Gantt (Marietta, GA/Lassiter) came up with a nice isolation dodge from behind the cage to bring the score to 7-6 in favor of Auburn.

The defense led by returning injured player Zach Ilisevich (Potomac, MD/Georgetown Prep), senior Casey Fleming (Gainesville, GA/North Forsyth) and junior Joe Burton (Alpharetta, GA/Milton) starting increasing their pressure and causing some Auburn turnovers. But Auburn did find a hole in the defense once again in the quarter to make it a two goal game once again.

But as the third quarter was winding down Auburn slowed things down trying to kill time. But Tech's Chris Tynan (Martinez, GA/Lakeside) made a fantastic play intercepting a pass with 45 seconds remaining in the quarter. Tynan raced up field and fed Thomas on the fast break and Thomas buried the shot for his third on the day and giving Tech the momentum swing they needed entering the fourth quarter.

Tech was clearly inspired by the great play to end the third quarter by Tynan and Thomas. The Jackets played some inspired lacrosse with it's traditional solid base defense. The defense, due this time to the strong ride of the attack, forced a important possession early in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Alex Roe (Atlanta, GA/South Forsyth) stripped an Auburn midfielder and raced toward the cage. It was then that Roe saw the wide open Foarde on the crease. The 6'4'' long stick midfielder snagged the feed and buried the shot for his first career goal and more importantly tied the game at 8 goals a piece.

A minute later Granger raced up field on a clear and took the ball himself to the cage scoring low and away to give Tech a lead they would not relinquish. Solan and the defense held strong stopping a late Auburn attempt to force overtime and Tech walked away victorious.


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