Georgia Tech Tops #23 Tigers on Three OT’s
ATLANTA, GA- With thirty-three seconds left in the third overtime on a chilly Friday night on the Roe Stamps Turf Field, Mick Stapleton (Woodstock, GA) ripped a lefty shot that ended a marathon game and gave Georgia Tech the 8-7 win over the visiting and #23 ranked Clemson Tigers. The win marked the first victory for the Jackets over the Tigers since 2007 and gave Tech a two game winning streak to improve to 6-2 on the season.
The game started in favor of the Tigers when Clemson struck first as Joe Brandt (Woodbine, MD/Century) ripped a 10 yard shot past Tech’s Matt Sommerfeldt’s (Marietta, GA/Pope) right shoulder at the 7:30 mark in the first quarter. But Tech was quick to respond, when thirty seconds later Trey Gantt (Marietta, GA/Lassiter) broke through the Clemson defense to tie the game at one goal each. It would remain scoreless in the quarter until Tech’s Chris OBrien (Manhatten Beach/Mira Costa) got a feed from Stapleton to finish on the doorstep past Clemson goaltender Demetrius Murray (Wilmington, DE/Towers Hill) to give Tech the lead 2-1. As the second quarter began the Clemson defense clamped down and Murray came on strong. Limiting the Tech offense allowed the Tiger offense to get rolling. At the 9:48 mark Clemson’s James McLoughlin (Long Beach,NY/Long Beach) scored after a great ride and tied the game at two. Then, three minutes later Clemson took the lead when Brandt took an isolation dodge down the right side and scored past Sommerfeldt. With only 40 seconds left in the first half Clemson surged ahead 4-2 when Gavin Harrison (Ellicott City, MD/Marriotts Ridge) ripped a shot past the Tech defense.
As the GT pep band played at half time the Jackets seemed to get inspired by the school spirit. Tech possessed the ball early and had some great looks at the cage but Murray was still strong between the pipes. Then the momentum that Tech had created was quickly quieted when Clemson’s McLoughlin scored on a man up play on a feed from Tom Reddish (Hanover, MA/Hanover) to give Clemson a 5-2 advantage. But the Jackets would rise up after some great defensive play. The inspired Tech offense got started when Stapleton started a fast break and fed Alex Roe (Cumming, GA/South Forsyth) who scored in close to make the game 5-3 with 5:49 remaining in the third quarter. The Tech sidelines erupted when freshman defender Oliver ‘Tuna” Gregory (Marblehead, MA/Marblehead) took a loose ball coast to coast for a bounce shot that got past Murray to make it 5-4 in favor of the Tigers. And with only one minute on the clock junior midfielder Colin Granger (Tallahassee, FL/Leon) would become “Mr Clutch” as he scored to close out the quarter to make it all tied up at five goals each as the game headed into the fourth quarter. In the fourth the band played on and Tech’s solid play produced as they scored quickly on a goal from Daniel Radke (Chesterfield, MO/Desmet Jesuit), who scooped a loose ball on the crease and put the ball past Murray. But Clemson would not go away and responded with a goal of their own at the 13:04 mark when Steve Dybus (St Louis, MO/Chaminade) scored a feed from Brandt. As the fourth quarter rolled on both teams has multiple chances but both defenses and goalies played strong. Then with four minutes on the clock Clemson’s McLoughlin scored falling to his feet as he split a double team. The amazing goal gave Clemson the 7-6 led with minutes left in the game. But then “Mr Clutch” stepped up to the plate again. After a timeout with one minute remaining Granger took a hard drive to his right and scored a scorching low shot goal to send the game to overtime. But not just one.
The two teams battled for two overtimes with Murray turning away multiple close looks by Tech and conversely Tech’s defense effectively held the Clemson attack away from the cage, even killing a man down situation in the second overtime. As the third overtime was moving along both teams continued to battle. After a strong stand by the Tech defense the Jacket offense had one final chance with a minute remaining in he third overtime stanza. After a loose ball possession was gained by Tech, Stapleton saw his opening. As the Clemson defense was re-setting Stapleton saw a lane, drove down the left had side and ripped a shot past Murray for the game winner. The Jackets return to the turf on Sunday at 1:00pm versus #10 ranked Pittsburgh.
GT 2 0 3 2 0 0 1- 8
CU 1 3 1 2 0 0 0- 7
GT Goals- Granger 2, Gantt, OBrien, Roe, Gregory, Stapleton
GT Assists- Stapleton 2
GT Saves- Sommerfeldt 7
Clemson Goals- Brandt 3, McLaughlin 2, Dybus, Harrison
Clemson Assists- Brandt, Reddish
Clemson Saves- Murray 15