(from a Brigham Young release)
LOGAN, Utah -- In a battle of in-state rivals, Brigham Young overcame some first-half struggles to defeat Utah State, 15-5, on the road Saturday.
After winning the opening faceoff and misfiring on the first couple of shots, BYU's Winston Farley broke through via an assist from Dallin Bentley. Utah State held on through the next Cougar assault, but BYU long poles forced a turnover with Boston Handley returned the ball to offense. This allowed Michael Perry to run through his defenders and scored unassisted.
The Aggies came out of the next draw with the ball, but the Cougar relentless defense, led by Harrison Wardle, made it difficult to get a shot off. BYU sent a couple more shots high and wide before Taylor Heyman ripped one from distance assisted by Perry.
USU took the next face, but their shot was reeled in by freshman standout goalie Mason Moon, who was credited with saves on the day. The Aggies finally got on the board with 2:38 left in the first, trimming the lead to 3-1. The Cougars finished out the quarter with a goal from Chris Severson on the man-up again assisted by Perry.
Defense was tight with both teams in the second quarter. Handley had another nifty pick for the Y, and Arty Walters contributed with a pole save, but a turnover on the offensive end led to State’s only goal of the quarter bringing them within two, 4-2. BYU’s second man-up goal of the game resulted in a dodge-from-X goal by Perry.
The Aggies grabbed up the first face of the second half, but the Cougars came out hard and fast. Relentless, pounding defense from BYU defensive middies Connor Williams, Max Ash and Jake Hougaard made shots tough to come by. On the other end the Cougars drove the score up with goals from Tanner Johnson assisted by Harry Waddoups,
A pair of Connor Bernal goals, the first assisted by Johnson, expanded the bulge to 8-3. After another skillful pick by Cougar long pole Rick Rose, Farley scored again. Despite better success on the draw, USU’s only goal of the quarter came on a man-up.
BYU kept the pressure on in the fourth. Stellar defense and more scoring, starting with Waddoups assisted by Farley, and then Bernal off a pass from Alex Yost.
The Cougar defense held in a man-down situation, which was followed by goals from Dallin Bentley assisted by Severson and Waddoups assisted by Johnson. The Cougars finished strong, with Johnson’s first goal. USU managed a couple of late quarter goals, one on man-up. The game ended with a fast-break goal off the draw from Williams, providing the 15-5 final.
BYU coach Matt Schneck stated it was a good turn around after half-time, and an important victory, adding what happens in conference play over the next couple of weeks will have a huge impact on the post season.
“It’s time to pay attention to CSU and CU, rival teams that are highly competitive,” he said.
The Cougars will play both of their Colorado rivals this week with Colorado State on Thursday and Colorado on Saturday.
After CU’s big win against Georgia Tech this weekend, the match against BYU should be very interesting.