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BYU Survives Late-Game Rally by UVU

UVU made the short drive to BYU’s North Field looking for an upset on the Cougars’ Senior Night. The Wolverines had a hot first quarter and came on strong in the closing minutes of the game, giving Cougar fans a good scare, but solid second and third quarters for the Y proved enough to squeak past UVU, 15 – 13.
BYU face-off middie, Jack Vassau, was dialed-in this game. He won the opening draw, giving the Cougars the first shot opportunity, but that was turned away by UVU goalie Shawn Rowley. The Wolverines sprinted downfield and Justin Haws put up the first goal. Vassau snatched up the next draw and BYU scored quickly on a fast-break goal from LSM Max Neser. The Cougars and the Wolverines traded goals on the next two possessions: an unassisted goal from UVU’s speedy attackman, Brian Quick, and a goal from the Cougar freshman, Winston Farley, assisted by Chris Severson. The Wolverines had success in the next two draws and scored on both possessions, first by Micah Dean assisted by Tanner Marsh, and then another goal from Haws over his left shoulder from around the left crease, assisted by Joe Lambert. BYU called its first time out at the midway point of the quarter, and Connor Williams made good on the designed play with a worm-burner straight down center crease assisted by Chase Miller. UVU gained possession, but their shots were turned away by BYU senior goalie Matt Brandenburg. The Wolverines committed a penalty, giving BYU an extra man, and Josh Tunick made good assisted by Farley, pulling the Cougs to within one. Vassau won the next draw, but Rowley saved a shot, and UVU’s Shane Weigman scored in the final minute assisted by Audie Ventura. The quarter ended with UVU in the lead, 6 to 4.
The Cougs came out roaring in the second quarter, easily securing the first face off. BYU attackmen went to work passing and shooting. A Cougar shot was knocked down, but the pass from the UVU long pole was picked off by Severson on the doorstep, and he dumped in his first goal. The Wolverines won the next draw, but BYU long pole work from Arty Walters and Devin Needs caused a turnover. Back on offense, the Cougars worked it around, eventually finding an open Tanner Johnson who scored to tie the game with an assist from Farley. BYU was on a mission, controlling almost the entire second quarter possession. Defense was merciless and offense was on a tear. Cougar longpole Harrison Wardle picked off a UVU pass and returned the ball to his offense. Jack Fabrizio gave BYU their first lead of the game scoring unassisted. Vassau fed on the momentum, snatching up the next draw, and the Cougars pounded the UVU goal. Farley grabbed a rebound and put in his second goal. After a BYU timeout, Farley scored again assisted by Johnson. The Wolverines then committed a frustration foul, giving the Y a two-minute non-releasable man-up. The Cougs didn’t waste it — with less than a minute in the half, Harry Waddoups found the net assisted by Johnson, and the Cougars took a four-goal lead into halftime with most the man-up remaining. BYU was up 10 to 6 having held UVU scoreless in the second quarter.UVU BYU 2
BYU started the third quarter still in man-up. UVU didn’t make it easy, but just before the penalty expired, Jayden Haws scored assisted by Fabrizio. Vassau continued his dominance in the face-off, and Rowley continued to make great saves. On transition, the Wolverines’ Weigman scored assisted by Dean. BYU returned to offense on the following draw; Andrew Bertha scored his first with an assist from Fabrizio. The Cougars were again advantaged by a double man-up, and Fabrizio made the most of it with a bounce shot assisted by Severson. UVU won a rare draw and began a vicious offensive assault. Weigman broke through the Coug’s defense putting in his third. The Wolverines followed up with a goal from Marsh assisted by Dean to get within three, but BYU closed out the quarter with another rebound goal, this time by Severson followed by another extra man opportunity with less than a minute left in the quarter. They burned the remaining clock and ended the quarter with a comfortable lead, 14 to 9.
The fourth quarter started with a Cougar extra man, and Farley secured his fourth goal of the night with another assist from Fabrizio. UVU won the next draw, turned it over, then got it back and Haws scored on the run. Both teams hunkered down and the middle part of the quarter was one takeaway and forced turn over after another. BYU’s longpole, Spencer Simpson, picked off a UVU pass with 5:38 left in the game and the Cougars called a timeout. UVU was successful in fending off the designed play, and were then blessed with a man-up. BYU defenders Max Ash and Boston Handley held the Wolverines off, but the boys got in a tussle that resulted in a two-man advantage for UVU. They did not waste their opportunity, and Chad Madsen burned the net with an assist from Quick. With an easy face-off win, the Wolverines wasted no time peppering Brandenburg, who turned away several shots, but Haws scored on a garbage goal trickling in through traffic from center crease. UVU still had the advantage in the face, again pounding Brandenburg, but he made a brilliant late-game save and returned the ball to his offense with less than two minutes. Game over, right? Wrong! The Cougars attempted to run out the clock, but were forced into a turnover which made the Cougar coaching staff livid. With .37 left in the game and a slim three-goal lead, the Cougars found themselves down two men for the remainder of the game for sideline infractions. The momentum swing was obvious, and UVU quickly capitalized with a goal from Jake Stout assisted by Quick. There were 22 seconds left and the fans were on the edge of their seats. Vassau secured the all-important final draw despite being man-down. The Wolverines attacked nearly stripping the ball, but the speedy Cougar offense retained possession and were able to run out the clock. BYU escaped with a 15-13 win.
UVU saw some great minutes from Garrett Winters, Jake Kelly and Fred Davis. BYU’s bright spots were Connor Williams in defensive midfield, Max Ash in transition, and Jack Vassau winning several critical draws. Coach Schneck said he was a little disappointed with the slow start, but was pleased with the second quarter response and how his players took control of the remainder of the game. He stated, “We got into penalty trouble, giving UVU an opportunity and they took advantage”, but he was excited with the win and the position the Cougars are now in going into the RMLC tournament next weekend. He said he was happy all of the seniors got to play, and they all contributed in meaningful ways.
BYU’s final regular-season game is against the University of Utah on Saturday, April 23rd beginning at 4:00 pm. UVU will finish out the regular season against Utah State in Logan on Saturday at 6:00 pm.

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