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Utah Lacrosse Picks Up First NCAA Win

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, Utah Lacrosse vs. Vermont February 1, 2019 in Salt Lake City, UT. (Photo / Steve C. Wilson / University of Utah)

Utah Lacrosse: Scoring Summary and Other Notes

Utah Lacrosse picked up the program’s first-ever NCAA win on Saturday at McCarthey Field in Salt Lake City, Utah, against the Mercer Bears. Read on for highlights of the contest.

Read about Utah’s first-ever NCAA game against Vermont here. See what the media said about the Vermont game here.


First Quarter:

  • Mercer got on the board first quickly. However, it was all Utah from there.
  • Josh Stout answered with 11:40 left in first quarter for Utah, as he beat his man inside at the goal line and dove around the crease to bury it high against Mercer goalie Josh Tarver.
  • Utah’s Nick Hapney got the ball to Stout who beat his man in the goalie’s top right corner and got to the center of the field, shooting around the slide and beating Tarver off-stick high.
  • Hapney picked off the feed to a wide open man on crease, Utes ran in transition getting the ball up to James Sexton on the goalie’s top right corner and then fed a cutting Josh Stout, who cut to cage for the easy dunk.
  • Ball worked around the perimeter to James Sexton, who got off the shot. Rebound in front of the cage picked up by Liam Cavanaugh-Fernandez and put back on a dive into the crease.
  • Josh Stout got to the middle of the field and sent a laser into the goalie’s body, which hit the ground and trickled in. Hat trick for Stout.

Second Quarter:

  • Again, Mercer scored within seconds of the opening faceoff, as Michael O’Brien picked up the loose ball on the draw and took it to the middle of the field and let loose a low shot that beat Liam Donnelly.
  • Mercer pulled within two with 14:02 to play in the second quarter.
  • Utah looked slowed the pace down in the early part of the second quarter as they went into more extended possessions.
  • Mercer midfielder Michael Quinn got underneath the Utah defender and buried it between the legs of Liam Donnelly, getting nailed in the back on the play. Penalty waved off.
  • Mercer goalie Tarver had a great sequence of three saves in a row, as he had two back-to-back incredible saves and another solid save on an extended possession by the Utes.
  • Josh Stout would then beat Tarver after picking up the loose ball to put the Utes up 6-4.
  • Mercer struggled in the clearing game, as Utah did a great job on rides and Mercer made some mental mistakes trying to get the ball across midfield.
  • Utah’s Branden Wilson put the moves on Mercer’s Michael Quinn, who worked the ball up to Stout and then over to Aaron Fjeldsted, who buried it in the goalie’s off-stick high side.
  • Sean Goldsmith rolled back to the middle of the field for Mercer after a big sweep and ripped it top-shelf.
  • Seth Neeleman was huge on faceoffs for Utah, as he was able to neutralize the Mercer faceoff unit and give Utah extra chances on offense.
  • James Sexton was at X and found an open Aaron Fjeldsted high in the middle of the field for a rip that just snuck under the crossbar for Utah.
  • Jake Stout caught the ball on the wing, who found a cutting James Sexton streaking to cage. Sexton ran out of real estate and passed across back his body to get the ball to Branden Wilson for the dunk.
  • Mercer’s Jake Priester was left wide open on the goalie’s right wing for the easy shot between Donnelly’s legs.
  • Overall, Utes looked strong in the first half. Besides a run by Mercer in the early part of the second quarter, Utah definitely looked like the more dominant team.

Third Quarter

[stu alias="fivestar1"][/stu]
  • John Tarver found Pascal Coombs on the crease from underneath the cage for the Mercer goal to pull the Bears within two.
  • Michael O’Brien quickly scored another to make it a 9-8 game for Mercer.
  • Goalie change as Bradley Hodoval came in in the third quarter. Tarver looked like he may have injured a rib on an earlier shot in the second, which could explain why he wasn’t in the game for the second half.
  • Liam Donnelly had a few nice saves later in the third quarter to help keep Mercer at bay, including an incredible doorstep save with roughly 3:20 to play in the quarter.
  • Aidan Christian took the ball down the field in transition and got it to Sexton in the middle of the field, who got the ball to Stout on the wing. Stout then buried the ball in the top corner for the Utah goal.

Fourth Quarter

  • Fjeldsted got his hat-trick with 11:49 to play in the fourth. Great day for Utah-based players on the roster.
  • Josh Stout got free behind the cage and wrapped around crease, getting his hands free to put one past Hodoval.
  • Daniel Shumake fed Pascal Coombs for the Mercer goal to help keep Mercer hopes alive.
  • Josh Stout kept pouring it on in the fourth with another goal, Utes led 13-9
  • FINAL: Utah 13, Mercer 9

Notable Utahn Perforamances:

  • Josh Stout looked sharp early, getting a hat trick in the first half and finishing with seven goals and an assist. Fun fact, at the time that the game ended, Josh Stout was the leading scorer in NCAA Men’s Division I Lacrosse.
  • Fjeldsted struggled in the first quarter, looking like he was trying to force things early in the game. But, he found his groove in the second quarter the rest of the way as he got a hat trick to finish the day.

Final Thoughts

  • First off, congratulations to the Utes on their first-ever win as an NCAA Division I lacrosse program.
  • Mercer No. 24 Will McCarthey was wearing jersey No. 24 for John Michael Night that had committed to Mercer from Trinity Prep with an academic and athletic scholarship, but had a stroke at 17 years old in class while he was prepping for finals, leaving him unable to play lacrosse. He picks who gets to wear his jersey every game. We wish our best to John and the Mercer program. It’s an incredible story, and can be found here.
  • Josh Stout had an incredible performance. While he has yet to compete against the top-teams in the country, he is certainly a force to be reckoned with. Definitely an electric player and someone you want to have on your side.
  • Liam Donnelly was solid in cage, finishing with 13 saves and 9 goals against.
  • The Utah faceoff unit had a much better performance than in their Vermont outing, going 50 percent at the line between Donny Stock, Seth Neeleman and Samuel Cambere.

Utah Lacrosse Quotables:

“I don’t know, it’s emotional. It means a lot. I’m kind of at a loss for words. It’s just, we’ve been working towards this for two and a half years with the coaching staff, and it’s just really special.”

Josh Stout, on Utah’s first win in program history

“A lot of grit, a lot of hard work. I like the term blue collar. I mean, everything we do is not pretty, but we grind everything out and do it to the best of our abilities.”

Josh, on Utah’s journey to get to this point

“Man, I don’t think I tell him enough, but it really means a lot. I played with him my freshman year of high school and after that I didn’t think anything else would happen. But, after that I got this chance. I was thinking about it this week, and I thought, holy s—, this is something special. No one really gets to do that and so it is really special.”

Josh Stout, on being able to play with his brother Jake on the team

“I feel like they put me in some good situations. I shot the ball, and it went in the back of the net. I don’t think I did a whole lot, honestly. I think we just played together, and the chips fell where they did.”

Josh Stout, on his eight points on the day

“I don’t know. It’s not about me. I thought out guys did an awesome job today. We were just playing Utah Lacrosse. Tough on ground balls, stuck together. We talked about riding some waves, you know, lacrosse is a game of runs, and we talked about that all week. It’s all about them. It’s about the coaches that are here and about the players. It’s the first and hopefully we’ll get a few more.”

Utah Head Coach Brian Holman, on the program’s first NCAA win

“I don’t like to talk about individual players. You guys know what Josh did. His numbers reflect that. What I want to talk about is the person. The hard work. I told our team last week, there’s a reason why Josh Stout scored three goals against Vermont. It’s because every single day he comes to practice and works harder than anybody on our team. I want to talk about that Josh Stout. … He typifies everything we want in this program. It’s an every day effort. It is toughness, it’s grit, it is determination. I can’t say anything else.”

Utah Head Coach Brian Holman, on Josh Stout

“I thought that was more of us. We talked about how last week was a little bit more of an anomaly. I thought this was Utah Lacrosse. I thought our guys were more comfortable. Ground balls, we talked about swarming them and being things we could do well. I just thought they did a good job.”

Head Coach Brian Holman, on his team’s aggressiveness

“I want to thank for bringing his guys out here, that’s a huge part. And the biggest thing is, our facilties people, I don’t know what I can say besides we are so grateful for them. They came out here and literally manually swept this field for us. … They typify what we want to be. Hard work, get the job done, no questions ask.

Head Coach Brian Holman, on Mercer making the trip and the Utah Facilities staff.

Next up: At Hofstra, February 16, 11:00 a.m. MT

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