BYU lacrosse hammers New Mexico

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The BYU lacrosse team dismantled its opponent Friday night, routing the University of New Mexico Lobos by a score of 27-2.

The 25-point margin of victory is a season high for the Cougars, who executed their offense to perfection for 60 minutes in front of a frozen group of fans.

“We did some things today that we haven’t done all year, things that we specifically worked on in practice over the last couple of weeks, and it was good to see that we could execute them,” said BYU head coach Matt Schneck.

BYU scored early, with No. 8 Andrew Harding receiving the ball from his teammates as they swung passes around the perimeter, found a crease in the defense and buried the shot to score one minute into the game. Harding’s teammate Corey Gunderson tickled the twine two minutes later, taking advantage of a New Mexico penalty to put the Cougars up 2-0.

“We wanted to come out and send a message and make a statement, and I think we did that,” said captain Jacob Houghton.

A turnover by the Cougars led to a fastbreak goal for the Lobos, but a timeout was called, giving a chance for the players to refocus and reorganize their attack. The coaches’ reminders led to another scoring outbreak and the Cougars finished the first period up 6-1.

The second period was like the first, with the Cougars roaring out of the break to continue the offensive assault.

“Everyone was moving the ball well, cutting, being very unselfish with their play,” Houghton said.

The unselfish play led to a five-goal run in under seven minutes, as the Cougar attackers and midfielders put the game out of reach. The fans gave the team a loud cheer as they ran to the sidelines for halftime with a 13-1 lead.

The starters didn’t see much time in the final two periods, and the coaches gave younger players an opportunity to get game experience. The switch to reserves did not slow down the volume of shots on goal for BYU, however, as the goals continued to stack up for the team.

The offense netted seven shots in the last two periods, leading to the final score of 27-2.

“Everyone was getting touches, everyone was getting shots,” Houghton said.

The game was a flawless performance for the team, a welcome sight for the coaches after the team lost a close game to Cal Poly.

“Execution wise, I definitely say a 10,” Schneck said, when asked to describe the game. “We had two weeks off, and it was very nice for the guys to get a little rest after they played quite a few games, and also to start to focus in and really dial in their game so they could execute well.”

The Cougars were helped by relative newcomer, defender Brent Miller. Miller recently had his redshirt tag taken off, and in his first game back was a major contributor in the game, helping the defense keep the ball away from goal and in the hands of the midfielders and attackers.

“I think that was a great move for us from a defensive standpoint and he came out and he really did a great job tonight,” Schneck said of Miller’s performance.

The team takes to the road for its next three games, but returns to Provo for a game against the University of Oregon Ducks on March 24. With the victory, the team improves their record to 6-1 on the season.

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