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WCLA: Utah State Falls to Denver

Utah State Women's LacrosseThe Utah State Aggies played host to the Denver Pioneer’s on Saturday in a game that had Denver coming in to Salt Lake and leaving with a victory in a 16-7 contest.
With two solid teams meeting up, the fans from both sides that came out knew it was going to be a solid match-up. Denver came into this game as the stronger team on paper, but Utah State didn’t let that stop them from trying to pull off their seventh victory of the season.
“This was our third game of the weekend, so we were pretty tired,” Denver Head Coach Mindy Stone said. “It was a good game, we played well.”
The attack by Denver started early, with a quick score that led to even more coming from the same general play setup.
With a simple curl around the backside of the cage, the Pioneers would set up right in front of the cage leading to points, just like the multiple scored by Sophomore Susie Meskill, Senior Carrie Pritchard, and Sophomore Meara Stack.
The Aggies didn’t have a solution for this play early on, and the Pioneer’s took advantage of that.
“It was a rough day for us and we fought through a lot. They’re a good club and they move the ball very well,” Utah State Head Coach Travis Barrus said. “We watched their game against the ‘U’ and knew they were really good. They held that club.”
Denver really did what they wanted to do in the first half. They came out shooting on offense, and kept Utah State out of scoring range for a majority of the game.
“Our defense played really well and we played a lot more man to man which is something we really wanted to do today,” Freshman Goalie Sierra Wagner said. “We could’ve talked a little more on defense, but it was an overall great game.”
Utah State, for a time, did stop the backside play that killed them throughout the game.
With Utah State’s defense starting to communicate through Grad student Kirsten Gash, the Aggies put together a few minutes in the first half of solid defense, keeping Denver out of scoring range. Their sticks were up, and when one of Denver’s players came in looking to score, the Aggies were there to swat the shot away, leading to turnovers.
But that did not last very long for Utah State.
Utah State went right back to letting the same play kill them over and over. With different variations of it throughout the afternoon, the Pioneers took advantage of a young defense.
Utah State didn’t give up, though.
With Utah State Freshman Jenessa Woods helping pick up the pace on offense, the Aggies came out in the second half looking like a team that was not going to go down without a fight. Woods came out and recovered a ground ball which led to two shots that were blocked by Denver’s amazing goalie, Freshman Sierra Wagner. While the shots didn’t make it in the cage, it said something about this team. By taking those shot’s, and others like it, it let Denver know they were here to play.
With Utah State’s Aly Young leading the team in scoring, the Aggies had a lot to be proud of from this game.
“We came out a little rough and nervous today, but in the second half we stepped up but it was just a little bit too late,” Aggie Freshman Aly Young said. “We needed to pass it around and cut with a purpose; we just didn’t do that today.”
Denver really came out and showed their strengths. From the first half domination by their offensive trio in Meskill, Pritchard, and Stack, to their Goalie playing a game that would have made it a challenge for any offensive player in the west to score, they came into this game focused, and primed to earn another victory.
With improvements being made every week, Utah State has punched their tickets to the playoffs for a reason. With talent all around their roster, Utah State can bounce back from this win and really make a push in the playoffs if they work together.
Denver has shown they are a team to be reckoned with. With one of the fastest teams around, they know they are talented and they go into every game ready to win.

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