SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah men's lacrosse team edged No. 3 Colorado on Thursday at Ute Soccer Field. A seesaw affair led to the Utes taking home a 12-11 victory.
The Utes opened the scoring when Jake Stout found Gus Colonna on the left wing. Gus faked a pass which fooled the defender, leading to Colonna taking a step down opportunity that found the top right corner of the goal. Colorado equalized two minutes later on a man-up opportunity.
Utah attackman Aaron Fjeldsted capitalized on a Colorado mistake midway through the first quarter when he scooped up a back pass on the crease and buried the one-on-one opportunity. Utah extended its lead when Neeleman found Kirschner, who bounced it past Colorado goalie Jensen Makarov for the goal.
The Buffs answered back late in the quarter to make the score 3-2 after the first quarter of play.
Colorado scored on its first possession of the second quarter to tie the game. Both teams swapped goals midway through the quarter before a two-goal run by the Buffs made it 6-4 with 3:54 left in the half. Stout took the team on his shoulders, scoring the next two goals for the Utes to tie the score heading into the break.
The Utes came out of the break strong with Ian Elson finding the back of the net. Colorado responded as midfielder Colin MacIlvennie reeled off two goals early in the third quarter.
Utah tied the game seven minutes later when goalie Quinton Swinney shot a full field shot on a clear that found the back of the net, which sent the Utah bench and fans into hysterics.
☄ = universal #emoji for goalie goal! Big ups to Q, keeper for @UtahLacrosse, on this one. Kid must even see things in his sleep! pic.twitter.com/1fRhMYlZSd
— Lacrosse All Stars (@LaxAllStars) April 7, 2017
Elson would tally his second goal of the night at the 1:40 mark to give Utah a 9-8 lead heading into the final quarter.
Both teams traded goals to open the fourth. Utah extended its lead to 11-9 at the 8:10 mark. Colorado bounced back five minutes later to cut the Utes lead to one.
As tension in the stands and on the field rose, the ensuing face-off found the ball loose at the top of the Utah offensive box in a scrum. Utah midfielder Deen Anderson picked through the chaos, scooped up the ball before bouncing a shot past Makarov to extend the lead back to two, 12-10. The Utah defense held strong and the Utah offense took the air out of the ball.
Colorado scored with seven second left but it wasn't enough.
"When everyone on the team is involved, whether they play or they don't play, then we have a chance to be successful," said Utah coach Brian Holman. "That was the message all week and honestly it's been the message all year."
Colonna led the Utes with four goals while Elson had two goals and two assists. The Utes will host No. 10 Colorado State on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Ute Soccer Field.