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BYU Handles Scrappy Vandals

On Monday afternoon, the BYU Cougars hosted the Idaho Vandals at the North University Fields on BYU campus. BYU clearly had the upper hand from the opening whistle in their game against University of Idaho, but it wasn’t a blowout. The Vandals played their hearts out, and kept it interesting before the Cougars sealed the deal 13-6.
BYU started out hot scoring four goals off four consecutive draws easily secured by face-off specialist, Jack Vassau. Freshman starter Winston Farley had two first-quarter goals assisted by Bobby Meinhold and Andrew Bertha. Fellow freshman Chris Severson scored once assisted by Jordan Higgs, and Jack Fabrizio had the fourth goal assisted by Joey Mecham. UI’s goalie, Noah Kubowitsch, gathered in a BYU shot, and returned the ball to his middies for their first offensive strike. Vandal attackman AJ Gravel put a goal on the board assisted by freshman attackman Grant Hill. Early-game jitters gave way to improved defense from both teams and multiple saves by Kubowitsch. UI secured a rare draw, and middie Drew Pickens sprinted downfield unmolested scoring unassisted. BYU ended the quarter with two more goals, one from Jordan Higgs all by his lonesome, and another from Connor Williams assisted by Andrew McKinley. It was 6 to 2 at the end of one quarter.
BYU Idaho 2016 1
In the second, UI’s defense, including the giant Austin Hayward, Chris Moran and Scott Kozisek shut down several early-quarter Cougar attacks, and the Vandals obtained their third goal off a nice shot from Andrew Spangler. BYU continued to dominate the draw, and Tanner Johnson scored with an assist from Harry Waddoups. The Cougars were forced into a turnover off the next face, but quickly recovered, and McKinley burned around right side scoring unassisted. BYU executed a face break off the next draw, and McKinley notched his third goal of the day assisted by Waddoups. It looked a blowout was in the making as the clock wound down to half time. The score was 9 to 3, Cougars.
BYU started the second half with the first face-off. Good defense from the Vandals turned the tide forcing Cougar turnovers and giving UI more shot opportunities, but BYU goalie Matt Bradenburg kept the Vandals in check. BYU regained possession allowing Johnson to find the back of the net again, assisted by long pole Spencer Simpson. UI secured a draw, and made the most of the opportunity when Charlie Dolar scored unassisted. The Cougars took the next draw and started firing, but Kubowitsch’s confidence turned their shots away. BYU returned the favor with deflections and saves from Brandenburg. The quarter ended with the Cougars in the penalty box on an off-side call, and UI burned the remaining clock. It was 10 to 5 at the end of three quarters.
UI started the fourth quarter with an extra man offense. Cougar defenders Spencer Simpson, Quentin Willey and Arty Walters along with Brandenburg prevented the Vandals from scoring during the man-up, but UI put in their sixth goal shortly thereafter with a nice shot from Gravel assisted by Spangler. It was 10-6, a little too close for the BYU fans’ comfort. Vassau won the next face, and the Cougs extended their lead to five on a goal from the Zach’s, Labrum assisted by Pexton. BYU took the next draw, lost the ball on a turnover, but then picked it off returning it to offense. The Cougars called a time-out, and the starters came back on the field to close out the game. Farley scored assisted by Labrum, and after a UI successful face-off, Cougar long-pole Tyler Needs picked a pass, ran downfield and assisted Severson in the final goal of the game. Final score BYU 13, UI 6.
This game was never in jeopardy for BYU, but UI made it exciting slowly eating away at the early game lead. For a small team (only 13 players dressed), they played with enthusiasm, confidence and grit. It was a fun game to watch.
The Cougars meet University of New Hampshire on Saturday, March 19th at 4:00 pm on the North Field. UI next plays University of Nevada at home on March 25th.

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