Utah Valley University Men’s Lacrosse took on Davenport Thursday night in what proved to be an exciting matchup between two well-matched teams.
Davenport took an early lead, but UVU managed to hang around with the Panthers throughout the first half. The half ended 4-3 in favor of Davenport.
“They got a lot of possessions early,” said UVU head coach Brian Barnhill. “We didn’t have a lot of possessions to start with.”
The Panthers had a run early in the second half, but UVU matched it with a run of its own as the game moved towards the end of the third quarter. “We told them, ‘Don’t panic, stay in our system, just run our plays, and that would take care of it.’ And it did.”
Brian Quick and Justin Haws led the offense in the third quarter to tie it up and eventually pull ahead. “They really helped settle the offense down when we needed longer possessions,” said Barnhill. “They dictated the offense and found some opportunities through their patience.”
Barnhill attributes his team’s run in the second quarter to their players not losing confidence. “They knew that if they got the ball that they could score if they got the opportunity,” Barnhill said. “It was just a matter of us getting possession of the ball, getting the ball in our offensive end and getting the offense running.”
Faceoffs and ground balls proved to be critical in the game, as possessions for the UVU offense were limited. “They had a really good faceoff man and dominated at the faceoff X. We were struggling trying to find remedy for it,” Barnhill explained. “Their faceoff wins translated into extra possessions on their part.”
Barnhill continued, “We were missing our first-time ground balls, and they were picking them up and scoring in transition on their end.”
UVU tied the game up with less than 30 seconds to play. Davenport was came up with the groundball and called timeout with one second left on the clock at the top right corner of the box.
As play resumed, you had to see the finish to believe it.
Davenport let loose a shot as time expired. The ball deflected off of a group of players in front of the cage and ricocheted into the goal.
“They kept two guys in front of the goal. It’s a lot like a hockey goal,” said Barnhill. “We had locked them off, and it just ricocheted off a couple guys. Nine times out of ten, you’re not going to make that.”
Utah Valley will next face Idaho at home on March 12.