Of the 16 teams selected to play in the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association national championship tournament, only four still have hopes of bringing home the title, and the BYU Cougars are one of those teams.
After defeating the Chapman Panthers 15-12 on Tuesday afternoon, the Cougars are set to play Colorado State Thursday at 7 p.m. EDT. This will be the third match-up between the two teams this season.
“I’m sure they are looking forward to this opportunity to play us again as well, as they’re going to be trying to get into the championship game,” BYU Head Coach Matt Schneck said in a news release. “There’s going to be a tremendous amount of emotion, they’re an excellent team and we anticipate that this will be a very tough game.”
The Cougars won the first face-off of the year with an 8-6 victory in Colorado. The Rams beat the Cougars in the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference playoffs to square the head-to-head record at one game each.
The third-seeded BYU lacrosse team was tied with Chapman going into halftime during Tuesday’s game. A 7-2 run for the Panthers put the Cougars in a tight spot with only 10 minutes left in the game. A defensive shut-out and eight goals gave BYU the win and put the Cougars through to the next round.
“We are extremely proud of how the team played,” Schneck said. “This is the first time we’ve ever beat Chapman twice in the same year, and the first time we’ve ever beat them in the tournament. The team showed a lot of character and we’re really pleased with how things turned out.”
The Cougars won the national title in 2011 and are only two games from being repeat victors. The winner of the BYU vs. CSU semifinal game will face either Cal Poly or Arizona State in the MCLA title game on May 19.