Brigham Young University’s lacrosse team advanced to the MCLA tournament semifinals defeating the University of Oregon 17-14 Tuesday afternoon in Greenville, S.C.
The win did not come as easy as it did in the first round. BYU trailed 5-4 after the opening period before taking control in the second quarter and never looking back.
“We never questioned whether we would win the game,” head coach Matt Schneck said. “We just needed to get settled in.”
Pat Matheson scored first less than two minutes into the game just as he did in the first round. Jake Ferrin scored less than two minutes later as BYU took an early 2-0 lead.
“We had a lot of great performances from different players today,” Schneck said. “We had another outstanding performance from Pat Matheson.”
Schneck believes Matheson’s efforts so far in the tournament are worthy of all-tournament recognition.
Oregon scored the next three goals to take its first lead of the game and the two teams traded a couple goals to end the quarter.
Matheson scored three more times in the second quarter as BYU seized momentum of the game and led at the half 11-8.
Mike Fabrizio scored a pair of goals and accounted for all of BYU’s scoring in the third quarter. The defense held strong to keep the deficit at three leading 13-10 going in the the final quarter.
Mickell Walker added two goals while Jake Arbon and Fabrizio added a goal a piece in the fourth as BYU held off the strong Oregon team.
“We played a good, solid game,” Scheck said. “We were fortunate to put ourselves in a position to win.”
BYU also received strong performances from Chance Cooper and Grayson Dahl on the defensive side that enabled BYU to retain the lead through the final three quarters.
The Cougars will now play a familiar foe in Colorado State. The two teams have faced each other three straight years now in the semifinals. BYU defeated CSU two years ago on their way to winning the national championship while they lost to them a year ago.
BYU and CSU played earlier this year in April with the Cougars falling to the Rams, 11-5.
“We are excited to play them again,” Schneck said. “We learned a lot of what we have to do differently. We are the best matchup for CSU in the tournament.”
The Cougars and Rams will face off with a championship berth on the line Thursday, May 16 at 5:00 p.m. EST.