SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- With a strong defensive effort and timely goals, the No. 8 Utah men's lacrosse team opened up the 2018 season with a 9-3 victory against No. 10 Cal Poly on Thursday evening.
Utah (1-0) started the scoring on a crease finish by Bo Powell off a pass from Aaron Fjeldsted. Cal Poly answered when Utah native Doug Gosselin found the back of the net, tying the game at one.
Moments later, Gus Colonna stung the far pipe on a nice alley dodge to regain the lead for the Utes. Late in the quarter, Powell returned the favor from the first goal, finding Fjeldsted wide open on the crease. Fjeldsted quick-sticked it into the back of the net to make the score 3-1.
Utah wins! A 9-3 win for the Utes to kick off the 2018 season. #GoUtes pic.twitter.com/8VgytaLyRz
— UtahLacrosse (@UtahLacrosse) February 16, 2018
The momentum and poise on the offensive end of the field extended to the defensive side, helping the Ute defense to shut down the Mustangs offense. The defensive unit was relentless and goalie Daniel Costa continued to make save after save between the pipes.
"Daniel Costa was great today for us," said Utah coach Brian Holman. "He made all the saves he was supposed to make and a few that were really great. He cleared the ball well for us too which we like."
Cole Watson scored the only goal of the second quarter, giving Utah a 4-1 lead at halftime.
A short-handed goal by Quinault Mackey kicked off the third-quarter scoring. Powell and Colonna followed with goals to make the score 7-1 after three.
Late in the game, Josh Stout pushed from behind the cage and found space in front of the crease. The Mustangs responded with a goal, but it was quickly answered by a man-up strike by Powell.
The Mustangs would add another goal late in the game, but the Utes walked away with a 9-3 victory.
"Aaron [Fjeldsted] and Gus [Colonna] were really field generals for us tonight," said Holman.
The Utes will look to carry the momentum into Saturday as they face the Arizona Wildcats on Saturday at the Pac-12 Shootout at UCLA.