By STEPHEN GORDON
In preparation for their marquee matchup next week against the University of Colorado, the men’s lacrosse team battled Salt Lake-based Toulousse Wednesday evening, winning by a shutout, 10-0.
The 10 goals was considered a low scoring output for the Cougars. They usually average close to 20 goals per game. However, the team is pleased with the way it played.
“We wanted to get defensively prepared for Colorado,” said Troy Taylor, who is the Cougars’ face-off specialist.
Defense seemed to be the primary focus all evening, which may explain the low scoring. After Johnny Jackson knocked one in at the 12:47 mark of the first quarter, giving the Cougars a 1-0 lead, the Cougars managed only three more goals by the end of the third quarter to lead 4-0.
The flood gates didn’t open until there was only 13:43 to go in the fourth quarter, and Cameron Pratt knocked one in off a Rex Hardy assist. Matt Davis then scored two more quick ones with 11:09 to play in the game to extend the lead, 7-0. This enabled the Cougars to control the tempo of the game.
Head coach Jason Lamb saw some positives in Wednesday’s game, despite his team’s unusually low score. “We are playing like a team,” he said. “The guys are motivating and pushing each other.”
Lamb was also pleased for another reason: “There were no injuries,” he said.
The shutout effort by goalies Mike Nelson and Jared Taylor was also unusual for a lacrosse game — which usually serves as a scoring fest to entertain fans. This was the first shutout in recent memory, Lamb said.
If anything, the game was a stepping stone for establishing team chemistry as players find themselves in different lineup situations. “[It] helps everyone to reach their potential,” Jackson said.