On Saturday the Baylor Bears came to town thinking “easy game, Sam Houston… Division II… should be a practice.”Â What they met up with is a Bearkat team that is out to prove they deserve their national ranking (currently 15) and doesn’t know the word QUIT!Â The visiting Bears knew they were in for a game when Sam Houston took a 2-0 lead at the end of the 1st quarter.Â The two teams traded 2 goals each in the 2nd quarter for a 4-3 Bearkat halftime lead.Â Back came Baylor outscoring Sam 4-2 in the 3rd quarter to take a 7-6 lead.Â The 4th quarter was just crazy!Â Baylor scored first and had a two goal lead and then Sam Houston just exploded with 4 goals in a matter of 5 minutes and a 10-8 lead.Â Victory looked inevitable until Baylor scored with just 1:09 left on the clock.Â They (Bears) had several chances to force overtime but the Bearkat defense shut them down again!
Anchoring the defense is returning All Conference goalie Avery Flores and two All Conference Defensemen John Messer and Travis Cottle.Â Coupled with returning senior Brian Eckhoff and three freshman (Greg Kremen, Forrest Schmidt, Tyler Tyson).Â Coach Fritts said “These guys… all six of them, are on their own come game time.Â I tell them who to look for or what to expect and then Cottle and Messer run the show from there. They are free to call their own slides, change it, go back… what ever they want to do… they do, and they do it well.”Â Sam Houston implemented a “Defensive Midfield” line the week before consisting of Schmidt, Tyson and midfielder Nate Mitchell.Â “They shut down the Goldstein brothers,” said Fritts.Â “We had a good scouting report on Daniel and Michael (Goldstein).Â Combined, they average 7.75 points per game coming in to Sam and the D-midfield shut out Daniel and held Michael to just one goal (1 point).Â With that, our two offensive midfield lines got time to rest and catch their wind on the sidelines instead of playing defense.”
Leading the scoring attack were freshman Brendan Gawronski (4g,2a) and Wil Nielsen (4g).Â Sophomore Attackman Nick Williams tallied one goal and freshman Midfielder Zach Fry had 3 points (1g, 2a).Â Fritts commented “Gawronski and Nielsen were our ‘closers’ against Baylor. Everything that came their way, they buried it.”Â Defenseman Greg Kremen also had an assist on the day.
A huge but welcomed surprise was in faceoffs.Â Freshman Donny Meyer won all 10 of his opportunities while Junior Austin Atwood took 7 of 9. “Ball control like that is just paramount to winning games” said Fritts.Â “My best day at Sam was 7-7 and Donny just killed that one!”
On Sunday, the Sooners came Booming into town with a big 14-5 win over Rice the day before.Â Again, their confidence was high!Â Here’s small Division II opponent Sam Houston facing another Division I school!Â The Sooners took a quick 2 goal lead before Sam Houston would get their offense clicking to tie it at 2 but then OU got one more before the end of the 1st.Â In the 1st half for the Kats, it became the “Nick Williams Show” as he scored all 5 Sam Houston goals!Â “Nick was simply on fire” said Fritts!Â “Every loose ball, every feed… every goal… it belonged to Nick!”Â The Bearkat defense held the Sooner ‘O’ to just 2 in the 2nd quarter and the teams hit the half tied at 5.Â OU opened the 3rd quarter quick by scoring just 1:18 seconds in and tallied again 8 minutes later.Â Sam Houston could only muster one in the 3rd and was behind 7-6 to start the 4th.Â But… it’s the fourth quarter and that means Sam Houston OFFENSE!Â OU started off the scoring in the 4th but then the Kats did it once again this time with 3 unanswered goals.Â OU tied the game up with 5:06 showing on the clock.Â With just 2:38 left in the game, Fry scored his second of the day and capped off yet another nail biter for the Bearkats!
Fritts was exhausted!Â “Two days of this… opening weekend and we win by the same score and in the very last minutes of the game.Â Someone called the team the ‘Cardiac KATS’ and after these two games, I’d have to agree with that name… I surely almost had one!”Â Nick Williams was “IT” for the KATS scoring 6 goals and assisting on another.Â Fry had 2 goals, 2 assists while freshmen Logan Holmes (1g,1a) and Sam Lockett (2a) got in to the scoring ranks.Â Nielsen had one assist and Gawronski finished with 1 goal.
“To open up with back to back, Division I opponents… and beat them both, is a great way to start the 2010 season” said Coach Fritts.Â “We had 5 weeks of practice leading up to this, no full-field work what so ever, and these young men come out and just explode and execute all that they have been learning up to this point.Â Truly was a job well done and they all should be proud of what just happened this weekend… I know I am.”