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Utah Takes Down Utah State

Utah Attackmen Mac Schwoebel Defended By Utah State Defender Trace Nilsen
Utah Attackmen Mac Schwoebel Defended By Utah State Defender Trace Nilsen c/o Rick Parker

The University of Utah traveled to Logan on Friday to face the Aggies of Utah State who were playing their last game of the season. The Utes left with a decisive 19-6 victory over the Aggies.
With the Aggies scoring on one of the first offensive possessions of the day, they looked to be primed and ready to take down their in-state rivals. With a great save by Utah State Goalie Andrew Davidson at the 7:15 mark of the first quarter, the Aggie defense played just as well as the offense for the first part of the game. But, after a solid 8 minutes of play to start the game, the Aggies quickly let the Utes get ahead on the scoreboard.
“I think they got to us a bit,” Davidson said of the mental aspect of losing their groove. “For me, my stick broke, and I think that got to me a bit, luckily, we were able to fix it.”
With 4:08 left in the first, the Ute’s went from getting their shots blocked multiple times, to a 3-1 lead with goals by Freshmen David Bicker and Nash Cantrell. The Ute’s had the momentum back in their favor mid-way through the first, and they did not look back after that. With those three goals, along with one late in the quarter to help them reach a 4-1 first quarter lead, the Utes were sitting comfortably going into the second, something they have not been able to do for a while due to injuries.
“We played pretty well, we had a week off because we were so beat up but the guys came out and played pretty hard,” Utah Head Coach Rick Kladis said. “We were able to heal up, but we weren’t able to prepare as much as we want to.”

Utah Attackmen Mac Schwoebel Defended By Utah State Defender Trace Nilsen
Utah Attackmen Mac Schwoebel Defended By Utah State Defender Trace Nilsen c/o Rick Parker
But, even with a battered Utah team, they came out and really dominated the game offensively. The Utes didn’t just take what they were given, but they also made opportunities, and took chances that ultimately resulted in goals. Going into the second, the Aggies needed to do something to make sure this game didn’t get out of hand. But, at 14:09, Cantrell scored thanks to the great pass by Jake Berkelbach for the Utes fifth goal of the night.
“Our offense played very well… I’m really happy about our performance.” Cantrell said. “The Aggies played really physical defense and cleared the ball really well.”
With more goals by Utah sprinkled throughout the quarter, the Utes went into halftime with a comfortable 9-2 lead over the young Utah State team. Defensively for the Aggies, it wasn’t that they were playing poorly, but more of the Ute’s playing very well. Offensively, The Ute’s struck from distance, and shot with laser accuracy, something this young Utah State team probably wasn’t expecting.
“This is a young team. We had a lot of nerves and hopefully as our team matures and plays together longer, these up’s and down’s we have been experiencing won’t be a factor,” Utah State Head Coach Jon Atwood said. “We just got to get over that.”
The Ute’s continued to score in the third with four more goals that increased their lead, but Utah State wasn’t ready to lay down just yet, they started an offensive flurry mid-way through the third, which had them taking advantage of a Utah team that may have been playing a bit on the docile side.
With a little over 7 minutes left in the third, Sophomore Brandon Child took the clear from Davidson, and stormed down the field for a Utah State goal, a goal that gave the huge turnout of Aggie fans something to really cheer about.
But the Aggies were not done there. On the next face-off, which Utah won, but quickly lost possession of, Freshman Jess Roberts takes his teammates lead and storms down the field himself for yet another Utah State goal. The place was getting loud, and these Aggies were really feeling it. With another two or so minute’s of solid play, play that included another Utah State goal, the Utes recovered, and miraculously shut down the Aggies for the rest of the game.
Utah State’s offense really shined bright for periods of the game, but, as with a lot of young teams, this one just seemed to fall apart after timeouts by the Utes.
“It’s a game of runs,” Davidson said. “We just lost it. Plain and simple.”
The Ute’s marched into the fourth quarter not willing to lose, and played accordingly. They simply played better, longer. They came up to Logan and proved they were the better team on Friday night, and left with a well-deserved 19-6 victory.
For Utah State, this is their last game of the season, a season that had its up’s and its down’s.
For Utah, they will host the Griffins of Westminster next Saturday.

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