#16 Jackets Roll Tide for 10th Win
TUSCALOOSA, AL- The sophomore duo of Tray Gantt (Marietta, GA/Lassiter) and Alex Roe (Cumming, GA/South Forsyth) paced the Yellow Jacket offense scoring four goals a piece in leading #16 ranked Georgia Tech (10-2, 3-0) to a 12-5 victory over the University of Alabama (3-4, 0-2). Another sophomore in Mick Stapleton (Woodstock, GA/Woodstock) and freshman Chris Obrien (Manhattan Beach/Mira Costa) each added one goal and two assists each in Tech’s first victory over the Tide since 2010.
Tech opened the scoring in the first quarter when Stapleton found an open Gantt on the crease to make the game 1-0. Tech would strike again in the quarter with 8:27 remaining when freshman Ben Mertz (Grayson, GA/Grayson) ripped a shot past Alabama goaltender Jake Springer (Baltimore, MD/St Paul’s) to give Tech the 2-0 lead. To close out the quarter’s scoring Roe scored his first goal on a feed from Stapleton with 6:20 left. The defense from Tech continued to keep the Alabama defense at bay with strong inside play. Tech goaltender Matt Sommerfeldt (Marietta, GA/Pope) recorded three saves in the quarter and gave Tech the shutout after one quarter of play. The second quarter saw more of the Tech offense clicking and the defense holding strong. Just three minutes into the quarter freshman Danny Radke (Chesterfield, MO/Desmet Jesuit) on a split dodge to his left increasing Tech’s lead to four goals. After a long stretch with both defenses playing great team defense Tech made the game 5-0 at the 4:54 mark when Gantt scored on a feed from sophomore Evan Jarecki (Savannah, GA/Memorial Day). But the Tide would not subside as Alabama finally got on the scoreboard with a goal from Chris Balla (Washington, DC/St Johns) on a broken clear by Tech at the 2:20 mark in the first half. The half would end that way with the Jackets leading 5-1.
The second half started with the Jackets seizing control when Stapleton scored his lone goal only 90 seconds into the half with a isolation dodge and shot from the left side to make the game 6-1. Then Balla would find the back of the net again for Alabama minutes later to make it a four goal game once again. Tech’s O’Brien would get his goal with 1:44 left in the quarter on a feed from Gantt to close out the quarter with a 7-2 Tech lead. Throughout the quarter the close defense , comprised of a trio of freshman in David Cyron (Lincoln University, PA/Avon Grove), Oliver ‘Tuna’ Gregory(Marblehead, MA/Marblehead) and Danny Coughlin (Atlanta, GA/Marist) along with senior Joe Burton (Alpharetta, GA/Milton) kept the potent offense for Alabama stymied. Heading in the fourth quarter last year, Tech blew a four goal lead versus the Tide, and ended up losing the contest 8-6. This year would not be a repeat of history. Four minutes into the final quarter of play Roe would score to make the score 8-2. With 7:55 remaining Gantt would score again unassisted to make the game a seven goal difference. But the Tide would not go away quietly. Alabama would score 16 seconds later as they tried to gain some momentum. And they did as a minute later Alabama would score again when Colin Krueger (Orlando, FL/First Academy) made the game 9-4. But the Tech offense would respond as they ran off three straight goals from Roe (2) and Gantt to ice the game and make the score 12-4. The close out the game Alabama would fight to the final whistle and would score with three seconds left as Mathew McCormick (Jacksonville, FL/Fleming Island) ripped a shot past Tech goalie Mike Hashimoto (Atlanta, GA/Riverwood).
GT 3 2 2 5- 12
UA- 0 1 1 3- 5
GT Goals- Roe 4, Gantt 4, Mertz, O’Brien, Stapleton, Radke
GT Assists- Stapleton 2, O’Brien 2, Gantt, DeLong, Jareick
GT Saves- Sommerfeldt 10, Hashimoto 2