Saturday night’s match-up between the Utes of the University of Utah and Utah State Aggies women’s lacrosse programs brought in a large crowd and a larger score for the Utes who won this game 22-6.
“We started the game fast, slowed down, but sped right back up again,” Utah Head Coach Celeste Harding said. “We knew it was going to be a good game, and we knew we couldn’t come in underestimating the Aggies. They play physical and we were ready.”
For the Aggies, this loss is not as bad as the score may suggest. The Utes team is one that is top ranked in the nation along with Duke.
“The ‘U’ is a great team,” Aggie Head Coach Travis Barrus said. “We’re grateful our team has the opportunity to play great programs like this one. These girls played their butts off and I could not be more proud of them.”
With the Utes coming in with victories in the fashion of 16, 19, 19, and 21, in last week’s Salt Lake Classic, the Utes wanted to add on to that impressive scoring flurry with a win over the Aggies in the same fashion.
“We had great transitions tonight, and along with some great give and go’s, we helped each other out and that’s what led us to the win tonight,” Freshman Attack Hannah Rodgers said. “We played an aggressive game, we were always trying to go-go-go.”
Five minutes in the game, the score was already 5-0 for Utah. It became quickly apparent who the best team in Utah was.
“We went in to this game scared because of the ‘U’s rank,” Aggies Freshman Middie Weslie Hatch said. “Once once we started to pick up our communication, we gained confidence and that fear dissipated.”
It was too little too late for the Aggies. The Utes were like clockwork setting up on offense, and with multiple goals coming off the draw’s, the Aggies could not set up fast enough to help out first year goalie Amy Reid on defense. The Utes would simply drive right up the middle and score, making sure they had the Aggies leaving without a shadow of a doubt on who the premier team in Utah is. But to the Aggies credit, no team outside of the University of Southern California and Santa Barbara has scored more on the Utes this season. The Aggies never gave up and played the entire game with everything they had. That still was not enough to score enough on this stingy, lock down defense of Utah. Utah Goalies Tsivya Devereaux and Aori Saito said, “Our defense was great at shutting out tonight. Our double teams were great and we had good corners.”
The communication for the Aggies did not pick up until a timeout was called with about seven minutes left in the first half. From that point on, the Aggies defense was barking out their covers, asking for help, and giving the Utes a little bit more of a challenge en route to their impressive win. The Utes did seem to slow down a bit, like their coach said, after the Aggies had that timeout.
But, like all great teams, they adjusted and went right back to scoring point after point for the rest of the game. With the Utes a unanimous choice for the best team in Utah in WCLA D-II, the Aggies played their hearts out, and made sure they left everything they had out there on the turf. The Utes have now solidified their spot in the playoffs as the No. 1 seed, and Utah State will be the No. 2 heading into the RMWLL playoffs.