For Immediate Release – BYU Women’s Lacrosse
SALT LAKE CITY – On a beautiful spring night, the D-I 12th ranked Cougars made the 45 minute drive north to face the No. 1 ranked team in D-II, the University of Utah. The Cougars have dominated the series over the last several years but it is always a battle when the Cougars and Utes meet.
Utah won the opening draw and Laura Hunter earned a free possession shot just seconds in to the game. BYU Goalie Sierra Armstrong made a great save and quickly cleared the ball to Sophomore Alex Zollo. Zollo went from the restraining line to the Utah crease to score the opening goal of the game. BYU went on to score four more unanswered goals, with two coming from Freshman Sierra Cooper. Regina Farley scored the first goal for the Utes at the 16:31 mark of the first half. As Utah found its footing, it became a back-and-forth affair with both teams scoring two goals apiece over the ensuing eight minutes. Briana Arnold and Jordan Trejo both scored on a fast breaks to extend the Cougar lead. Utah got one back on a give-and-go just inside the arc. BYU won the draw with two minutes left in the half and looked to run out the clock but a forced feed in to the middle resulted in a turnover and Utah took advantage. With less than a minute to play, and with BYU in a zone defense, the Utes attacked with a fury and got three goals from Baker, Shurtleff, and Choi in the last 48 seconds of the half. The halftime score was 11-7 for BYU.
After losing the first half draws 7-11, BYU changed it up in the second half and put Briana Arnold in the circle. Arnold won the first three draws and BYU scored on all three possessions with two goals from Jordan Trejo and one from Heather Haight. Utah’s Katie Oneil ended the Cougar rally with a score at the 26:46 mark. Utah wouldn’t score again for the next 13 minutes as Arnold and Zollo put two more on the board for the Cougars. BYU freshman goal keeper Christine Duffy made several great saves over that stretch, and Utah bounced several off the pipes. With just over 16 minutes left in the game, BYU’s Trejo was sent off after earning her second yellow card for a cross check. The Cougars killed the penalty without giving up a goal but with their senior leader on the bench, the young Cougar squad made some questionable decisions on offense. The never-say-die Utes made them pay. Down the stretch Utah got three goals from Taylor Dunn and one each from Hunter and Oneil. Utah outscored BYU 6-3 over the last 13 minutes as BYU struggled to maintain possession. BYU didn’t score over the last seven minutes of the game but held on for a 19-15 victory.
BYU Freshman Heather Haight led all scorers with six goals, Briana Arnold had five. Utah spread the scoring around with goals from seven different players. Utah won the draw control battle 17-16 with the BYU goalies making up the difference with 10 saves on the night.
Utah will host the RMWLL Regional Championships on April 18th and 19th.