The #8 Cougars ended their appearance at the Lax Coaches vs. Cancer weekend with a big win against #7 Michigan State University, 14-7. BYU persevered through their long weekend of tough games to finish 3-0 while in Arizona.
GAME STATS »»
“Heading into this weekend, we knew that the team would be tested physically and mentally against some of the top competition in the country,” said Head Coach Matt Schneck. “This early in the season it was tough to predict exactly what to expect regarding the “X’s and O’s” from each of the teams, but we did expect that all three teams were going to be ready to go to battle on the field and that is exactly what happened.”
The Spartans took control of the first faceoff of the game, but after two unsuccessful shots on cage, the Cougars were clearing the ball in the other direction. Jack Fabrizio (Bountiful HS; Bountiful, Utah) scored the first goal of the game at 11:26 with an assist fromJake Arbon (Alta HS; Sandy, Utah). The Cougars played great defense during the first quarter, keeping MSU from scoring until 2:15 left in the first. The Spartans then scored two unanswered goals, leaving the score 3-1 at the end of the first quarter in favor of the Spartans.
MSU started with the ball at the beginning of the second, but LSM, Max Neser (Woodbridge HS; Irvine, CA) scored for the Cougars at 13:40, with an assist from Kevin Wallace (Centennial HS; Eagle, Idaho). Neser continued to play tough defense for the Cougars, continuing his pattern from BYU’s game the night before against Grand Canyon.
LSM, Evan Clinger (Hilliard Darby HS; Hilliard, OH) got the ball back into Cougar possession after close defense on MSU and Alec Grant (Palo Verde HS; Las Vegas, NV) scored with an assist from Jack Fabrizio. Two unanswered goals from Mike Fabrizio and Zach Jordan gave the Cougars momentum and the lead at halftime, 5-3.
The Spartans continued to dominate on face offs, going 5-5 in the third quarter. The third quarter started off with both teams attempting to score and struggling with turnovers. MSU got a man up goal in on the Cougars at 8:38. Mike Fabrizio (Bountiful HS; Bountiful, Utah) scored for the BYU, but the Spartans answered with another man up goal. Zach Jordan (Bountiful HS; Bountiful, Utah) scored with 8 seconds left in the quarter, making the score 7-5 going into the fourth quarter.
LSM, Max Neser won the first fourth quarter face off for the Cougars, giving the offense enough momentum to score at 14:09. The Spartans scored at 11:00, but BYU returned the favor with five unanswered goals.
Michigan State continued to play tough defense until the end of the game. The Spartans got one last goal past BYU at 1:25 on a man up opportunity. Alec Grant finished the game for BYU with a goal at 43 seconds. The Cougars beat the #7 team in the nation after a hard fought game by 7 goals.
Matt Brandenburg (Chantilly HS; Chantilly, VA) had another amazing game with 10 saves. Zach Jordan also continued his momentum from the game against Grand Canyon and put up 3 goals against the Spartans. Chandler Wescott (Bountiful HS; Bountiful, Utah), a freshman, supported BYU offense with one goal and two assists.
The Spartans were lead by senior Mackenzie Ensley who had 2 points and senior Matt Allemang who had 12 saves. The Spartans dominated the Cougars on face offs with face off specialist, Joseph Mikkelson. BYU struggled with face offs against MSU in 2014, but the Cougars were better prepared this season.
The Cougars will be taking on #19 ranked Minnesota Duluth Saturday at 4:00 pm in Provo. The game is located at North University Lacrosse Field located at 2300 North Canyon Road in Provo.