No. 21 Georgia Tech Rolls Past Tennessee

ATLANTA, GA- After a week off for spring break the #21 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets returned to action and did not skip a beat as they cruised past the University of Tennessee by a score of 15-4.

The Jackets improved to 8-3 on the season and won their second straight year in a row over the Volunteers. Tech was led by sophomore Chris O'Brien (Mira Costa/Manhatten Beach, CA) and his four goal and one assist performance on the day.

After not playing for two weeks there may have been some spring break complacency early as the Jackets found themselves in an early hole when Tennessee took the opening face off and scored just ten seconds into the game. The Jackets settled down and actually got off the next six shots in the game but they could not find the back of the net. The Volunteers would patiently wait out the Jackets flruery and would strike again a few minutes later to open the game up with a two goal lead.

The Jackets would awake, and erupt they did. Sophomore Ben Mertz (Garsyson, GA/Grayson) got Tech on the board with a few minutes remaining in the opening quarter but that is all the scoring Tech would get in the opening fifteen minutes of play. Mertz's goal would spark the team as the rain started to fall. O'Brien would get his first goal of the game on a ten yard low to high scorcher to tie the game.

Minutes later freshman Brian Connolly (Warwick Valley/Warwick, NY) would give a Tech a lead they would never relinquish. Tech would get additional goals in the quarter when freshman Sam Ford (Marmion Academy/Geneva, IL) scored on a feed from sophomore Dan Radke (Desmet Jesuit/Chesterfield, MO) to extend Tech's lead to 4-2.

In the closing minutes of the quarter Mertz would score again on a feed from sophomore Oliver Gregory (Marblehead/Marblehead, MA) for a transition goal. The Jackets would close out the scoring for the quarter when Mertz scored his third of the day on a isolation take from the right side followed by another goal from O'Brien on a man up opportunity to give Tech the 7-2 halftime lead. After shaky start the Jacket defense got back to what they do best- shutting down opposing offenses.

The second was much like the second quarter- dominated by Tech. Tech would open the scoring when OBrien would score again on a man up opportunity on a feed from Radke. Tennessee would respond but then Tech would score four straight in the quarter starting with a goal from Gantt followed a minute later when O'Brien would score his final goal of the day on a feed from Connolly.

With Tech leading 9-3 the defense was continuing to play strong and forcing poor angle shots from the Volunteers. Then Gantt would score again when a failed clear led to a transition goal for Tech. Gantt would then strip a Tennessee defender of the ball leading to a nice transition goal for the Jackets as O'Brien swept up the loose ball, found a cutting Connolly who fed the ball back to Gantt for the easy put away and extend Tech's lead to eight goals.

The Volunteers would score their fourth and final goal in the closing minute of the third quarter ending the Jackets run but with Tech leading 12-4. The fourth would see Tech pitch a shutout defensively in the fourth quarter and get playing time for the entire bench. In the fourth Tech would add scores from seniors Alex Roe (South Forsyth/Cumming, GA) and Austin Regnery (Etowah/Woodstock, GA) and also a second goal on the day from Ford.

Tech hits the road for its next game on Saturday, April 1 at Wake Forest


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