Despite the winter conditions, the No. 3 BYU Cougars pulled off a solid win against the Boise State Broncos. The Cougars fought a strong fight through four quarters and came away with a 14 – 5 win in Provo on Friday night.
Snowfall began prior to the game, but ceased just minutes before the opening whistle. Snow had to be shoveled off parts of the field to make boundary lines visible. The temperature was barely above freezing.
“As we take a look at the weather,” BYU Head Coach Matt Schneck commented after the game, “we almost anticipate that we are going to have a game or two like this every year. As much as you think you can be prepared for it, we have been indoors for the past four months. This is really our first day out here so there are a few things that we just weren’t ready for. Our passing and catching wasn’t all that great.”
The weather was indeed a factor. Turnovers were high as players on both teams tried to pass and catch with frozen or snow-filled pockets. Ground balls were difficult to pick up through the inch or so of snow that was still left on the field.
Despite the weather woes, BYU came out strong, scoring 6 points in the opening quarter. Attackman Mike Fabrizio led the Cougars with 3 goals and an assist. Fabrizio went on to score twice more throughout the rest of the game. The Broncos struggled to control the ball offensively and did not score in the first quarter.
The second quarter began with a Bronco penalty for illegal equipment. BYU took possession of the ball and within seconds, midfielder Jake Ferrin scored an unassisted goal. After little action in the second quarter, Bronco attackman Andrew Rusin scored Boise State’s first goal, assisted by attackman Gunnar Guth. The quarter ended with BYU ahead 8 to 1.
Both teams continued to struggle through the snowy conditions in the third, finding it hard to complete passes and gain possession of ground balls. BYU dominated the ball most of the quart and continued to take shot after shot. The star of the third quarter was Boise goalie Trae Field who stood in the way of most of the many BYU shots. Utah native Karson Fullmer, an attackman who played at Sky View High School, made Boise’s only goal in the third entering the field on a sneaky substitution, dodging all the way to the goal to score unassisted. However, BYU held their ground and the Cougars had an 11 – 2 lead at the end of the third.
The Broncos did not give up and entered the fourth quarter with a great attitude. They played to the last whistle and the final quarter ended up being their best with 3 goals. The controlled the ball offensively more than they had the entire game and they continued to shoot. Field continued to make great saves which created more opportunities to move the ball to the offensive side of the field.
However, the Cougars would not allow the Broncos to take control of the game. They continued to shoot as often as they could. By the end of the game the Cougars had taken almost 50 shots, compared to less than 20 for the Broncos. BYU came out on top, defeating Boise State 14 – 5.
“We are grateful for a win,” commented Schneck, “but now we have a whole list of things that we need to work on. Defensively, our communication was a little bit poor tonight. There was a little confusion between goalie and defenseman. As Boise State was changing up what they were doing offensively, we weren’t responding quick enough and so we gave up a few goals that way. Offensively, they were giving us certain looks and we were not taking advantage of them.”
Boise State will move on to play the Utah Utes this Sunday in Salt Lake City. BYU’s next game will be February 21st at UNLV.