SALT LAKE CITY - The No.1 Utah men's lacrosse team raced out to a 9-2 halftime lead over No. 20 Oregon and coasted home for its seventh win of the season, 15-6, on Thursday night .
The Utes (7-0) struck first when midfielder Cam Redmond found midfielder Reid Lanigan cutting in the middle of the field. Lanigan was able to beat his man off-ball and get space then bury the shot to give Utah a 1-0 lead.
Oregon (3-3) answered three minutes later to tie the game, but the Utes continued to win faceoffs and push the ball. Attackman Josh Stout, midfielder Gus Colonna, attackman Joseph Olivas and Lanigan found the back of the net for the Utes to make the score 5-1 after the first quarter.
Ducks midfielder Nick Gilbert scored the first goal of the second quarter, but the Utes once again answered.
Utah's goal was the product of courageous effort from the man-down unit that had to grapple with the rare, six-on-three penalty kill. Utah goalie Daniel Costa made a huge save to keep the Ducks off the board.
The defensive effort sparked a four-goal run for the Utes. It started with attackman Quinault Mackey knocking down an attempted clearing pass by the Oregon goalie and backhanding it low-to-low for the goal.
Stout scored next for the Utes then attackman Bo Powell went back-to-back goals to make the score 9-2 at halftime.
Utah opened the third with a pair of goals, one by Mackey and one by Lanigan. Oregon pulled a goal back at the 4:08 mark but Utah answered less than a minute later on a goal by Mackey.
The Ducks started the fourth quarter with the ball off a Utah penalty and scored two goals in 40 seconds, making the score 12-5 early in the fourth quarter.
Both teams continued to play hard, which led to a goal by Colonna at the 10 minute mark and a goal by Redmond at 8:35. Both teams would trade goals towards the end of the game, making the final score 15-6 for the Utes.
"I thought Oregon did a nice job, they are really athletic," said Utah head coach Brian Holman. "I think they challenged us in some areas, but I thought we responded well. We did some things that were uncharacteristic for us, but that's the point of playing games: to get better."
Lanigan led the team with three goals and two assists. The faceoff crew went 19-23, which was a key difference in the game. Costa finished with nine saves before Zachary Johns stepped between the pipes and registered two saves.
The Utes will host Washington on Saturday in the second game of a doubleheader at 4 p.m. at Judge Memorial High School in Salt Lake City.