Posted: Feb 24, 2019
The Yellow Jackets took the long flight to the west coast to take on Chapman and San Diego State. After losing to Chapman in each of the last three seasons by a combined four goals, the Jackets were anxious to take on the Panthers this season. Chapman also represented a step up in competition as this was Tech's first top ten opponent of the season. The Jackets took a few minutes to adjust to the stiff competition that the Panthers posed as Chapman took a quick 4-1 lead. Georgia Tech created several good scoring opportunities early, but couldn't crack the code of the Chapman goalie until junior Griffin Goggans finished an inside look. Goggans found the net twice more in the first quarter to bring the score to 4-3. The second quarter was typical of a Georgia Tech versus Chapman match-up as the two teams fought back and forth. Matt Krecicki, who saw his most extensive playing time of the season coming off of an injury, tied the game and was able to consistently get shots from dangerous areas scoring two second quarter goals helping to lead the Jackets to a 6-5 halftime lead. First half leads have meant little in this rivalry as the trailing team has managed to take the lead in the second half of each of the previous three games.
At the start of the third quarter the Jackets were swarming and were able to score three goals in the first four minutes of the quarter before Chapman took a timeout to regroup. Tech was able to rattle off two more goals to extend the lead to 11-5 with five minutes left in the third quarter. Chapman was able to respond with two goals of their own to close within 11-7 entering the fourth quarter. The Panthers took advantage of a possession advantage in the fourth quarter and began to mount a comeback tying the game with 5:41 left in the game. With the score tied, the Jackets faced two man down situations and were able to turn away the Panthers. The Jackets got a man-up situation of their own late in the game and were able to capitalize when Tim Peterson found a cutting Conrad McEvoy with under a minute left in the game. Tech was able to win the ensuing faceoff and drew yet another penalty and was able to run out the clock to seal the win a long way from home.
"Obviously this was a hard fought game tonight against a very talented and well coached Chapman team and I was proud of the way our guys fought back when the momentum seemed to swing away from us. This was a game with violent momentum swings and it would have been very easy for our guys to let that affect them, but typical of Tech kids our guys kept their minds focused on the task at hand and were able to answer Chapman throughout the night," Coach Ken Lovic said. "It's still early in the season with plenty of games left to play, but this was a nice step for our guys and will hopefully give our young guys confidence moving forward. I felt like the play of our short sticks on defense was very strong and that helps give our entire defense confidence and lets us operate as seven pieces of single unit to limit the opposition."
There would be no rest for the Yellow Jackets as they would face San Diego State the following day. Tech seemed to be feeling the effects of the previous night early in the game with some sloppy play all over. The Jackets worked their way into the game and senior Jack Topping opened the game with a transition goal. Following Topping's goal, the Jackets came to life en route to a 16-1 halftime lead. McEvoy paced the Jackets with nine points, but the Jackets got scoring from all over with fourteen different Yellow Jackets recording a point. The Jackets were able to play their entire roster in the game and got experience for several young players finishing with an 18-5 win.
"It took a little while, but once again I was pleased with the resiliency of our guys and the way they answered the bell. It was great to see a number of younger guys experiencing some success in the game as well against a talented San Diego State squad," Coach Lovic said.
The Jackets now return home for match-up against reigning LSA champions and currently undefeated Texas A&M on March 2.