Alumni Victorious In Annual Thriller
Thurman Wins It In 2nd OT
Manhattan, KS- The KSU Alumni Team defeated a rambunctious squad of upstarts to take their second straight Championship September 5 on a wicked goal in the second overtime of a brutally contested match.
Team Alumni was forced to rally after trailing late in the game and overtime was not assured until attackman Brandon Aslin made a quick cut to the goal, lost his man and converted a tight pass into the tying goal with just under 1:30 remaining in regulation.
Team Alumni seemed poised for another win as they easily controlled the face-off to start the overtime and moved the ball with relentless ease around a confused K-state squad which had tasted victory only seconds earlier. But the Alumni would not have it so easy as the K-state defense tightened its wall under the leadership of “Freon Deon” (as cool as the winter is cold) and the goaltending of KSU legend, John Sezario. Battling against the inevitable the defense created an amazing turnover and rocketed the ball through their midfield to an attack that was chomping through their mouthpieces for an opportunity to paste one past their elders and claim the title they so desperately wanted.
Shots sliced through the air with determined vengeance as the Cats made effort after effort to thwart their nemeses. Doug Stoltz and Chris Craver showed the telepathic skills that come from sharing the defensive field for 55 games during their collegiate careers.
Stoltz went crazy in the OT, his stick flecking the offense with technical brilliance that kept the KSU squad frustrated and handcuffed. But the Cats were not giving in. They fought with the passion of a wounded animal and when their venerable veteran and K-state fixture, Jay Sweet broke free of his shackles and tore towards the goal it seemed the day might turn dark for these Alumni who had come so far and given so much.
The ball left Sweet’s stick with a vapor trail behind it and a laser site for the goal. A collective gasp went up from the loyal crowd until they saw what goaltender Stu Robson already knew, this shot wasn’t going in, it was going straight for his head. With a tremendous thunk the ball was redirected safely into the atmosphere and the Alumni were allowed to breathe a little easier as time ran out in the first OT.
During the break before the second overtime the Alumni gathered the confidence that had propelled them through their collegiate years. The face off would be won, the offense would control the ball, a good shot would be taken and this game would end in a victory as sweet as anything that had come before it.
True to form Greg Kice manhandled the face off and the alumni took control of the ball, knowing victory was needed now, on this possession.
It was Aslin again, seizing the opportunity and rolling off a defender like he’d invented the move and sending a shot straight for the goal. It wasn’t going to be this easy though as Sezario made a fantastic block sending the ball out into No Man’s Land where an agile Thurman was able to pluck it from the sky and re-direct it past a sprawling Sezario and into the pages of history.
Thurman was unable to see his masterpiece from underneath the pile of euphoric teammates but as it rolled back out of the net and into the collective memory of those who were there it was one of the biggest goals ever scored in K-state history and certainly one that will only grow in the years to come.
Alumni win 11-10 in 2OT.
Let the celebration begin.
Article originally appeared in the October, 1999 edition of “The Cross” a one time publication with severely limited distribution which, for all intents and purposes, probably never really mattered anyway…