After taking a tough 11-9 loss to No. 15 University of Colorado on Thursday, BYU lacrosse faced off against conference rival No. 2 Colorado State Saturday night in Highlands Ranch, Colo.
The No. 3 Cougars (12-3) defeated the Rams (11-2) in a physical and close game, 8-6.
BYU coach Matt Schneck said the team knew the game was going to be extremely physical and the players were going to have to step up and play tough.
“(The team) did a great job,” Schneck said. “They really responded well and the overall physical nature of how we played tonight was at a different level of where we’ve been.”
The Cougars jumped ahead in the first period, scoring four unanswered goals by Riley Hales, Pat Matheson and two by Ted Ferrin. CSU finally put a point up at the close of the first period.
The Cougars extended their lead immediately, with Jake Ferrin scoring at the start of the second period. CSU added another goal in the second as well, and BYU led CSU at the half, 5-2.
Into the the third period, Mickell Walker and Jared Houghton scored two more Cougar goals. CSU pushed for a comeback, scoring four unanswered points to bring the game in reach at 7-6.
BYU stopped CSU’s comeback however, shutting them out in the fourth period. BYU goalie Wes Goar had 11 saves on the night.
“Wes Goar had an excellent, excellent game,” Schneck said. “As a matter of fact, he was given the game ball tonight for his outstanding play.”
Goar said the defense’s performance kept BYU in the game
“We came together as a defensive unit and all played really well,” Goar said. “It was awesome beating CSU.”
With under a minute left in the game Houghton scored BYU’s last goal to end the game 8-6.
Andrew Harding, who had an assist, said the team played as a unit and the defense did a great job of getting the offense the ball.
“I think the team, as a whole, played better as a team as I’ve ever seen them play before,” Harding said. “We were passing the ball really quickly and were able to get great looks on the cage. That was our game plan; logistically we wanted to be strong, fast and light on the field, and that was exactly what we did.”
This conference game was an important one for the Cougars in their rankings. Schneck said beating the top-ranked CSU team will help them as they go into the postseason in a few weeks.
The Cougars face off at home with in-state rival Utah State Wednesday at 6 p.m. on North Field. BYU will finish the regular season playing Westminster at home Saturday April 21, before traveling to Salt Lake to play in their Utah rivalry game April 29.