BOULDER, Colo. -- The BYU Cougars took down the RMLC top seed Utah, 10-4 in an impressive performance Friday at Kittridge Field on the campus of Colorado University.
The Cougars never let Utah get anything going as the defense put in another strong performance alongside excellent goalie play. The Cougar offense is also on a roll with players hitting their stride just as the postseason rolls around. BYU advances to the RMLC championship game, where it will play second-seeded Colorado.
The first quarter was all BYU. The Cougars controlled the faceoff and had two quick goals from Chris Severson, one assisted by Connor Bernal. Winston Farley scored assisted by Michael Perry, and another goal came from long-stick middie Max Neser stinging the net over Utah’s defense.
BYU goalie Mason Moon fended off everything the Utes threw at him, and Connor Williams had a defensive steal near the end of the quarter shutting down Utah’s late quarter attack. The Cougars a 4-0 lead into the second quarter.
Utah tried to turn things around in the second quarter with a win on the draw and a goal from Cam Redmond, but the Utes hurt themselves with a penalty that allowed Harry Waddoups to get that goal back, assisted by Farley.
The second quarter was all defense with Utah poles causing a couple of turnovers and BYU poles dishing out the same. With about six minutes left, Utah called a timeout. Their designed play was spoiled by a steal from Cougar Harrison Wardle who returned the ball to the offense. The Utes one bright spot was Redmond, who snuck in his second goal, but BYU’s defense denied all the other Ute attacks keeping the Cougars' advantage at 5-2 at the half.
Utah won the first draw of the third quarter, but its shot was denied by Moon. He cleared to Jake Hougaard, who ran the length of the field, dodged, got hit, dodged again and then scored giving the Cougars their only goal of the quarter.
Back on defense, BYU continued its stingy play, only allowing one goal to the Utes, again by Redmond. It was 6-3 at the end of three.
The last time these two teams played, BYU blew the game open in the third quarter. This time they chose the fourth.
Utah gave the Cougars an advantage with extra-man offense opportunities. Severson went on a tear, scoring three more goals, one assisted by Tanner Johnson, and then Johnson added one assisted by Zach Labrum. The Utes had no answer.
Utah managed one more goal, but the Cougar defense, backed by Moon, shut down everything the Utes tried. This was a team effort from the Cougars that resulted in a 10-4 win and a ticket to the conference title for the second year in a row.
“I am proud of how our Cougars played today," said BYU coach Matt Schneck. "It’s never easy to play a Top 10 team back to back. The Utes are a quality team with great players and great coaches, so we are happy that we came out on top and will have the opportunity to play for the RMLC Championship.”