Brigham Young University’s lacrosse team scored early and often in defeating Grand Canyon University 17-8 in the first round of the MCLA national tournament in Greenville, S.C.
Pat Matheson began the scoring less than 30 seconds into the game, while Mickell Walker scoring a minute later. Mike Fabrizio contributed two first quarter goals and BYU lead 4-1 at the end of the first quarter.
The teams exchanged goals in the second quarter but Fabrizio found the back of the net late in the quarter to push the lead to four at the half.
BYU blew the game open in the third quarter with seven unanswered goals extending the lead to 13-2.
In the final quarter, BYU was able to empty the bench and give tournament experience to less experienced players. This allowed Grand Canyon to go on a little run of their own but it was not nearly enough as BYU won convincingly, 17-8.
This game was much different than the first time around as BYU enjoyed a comfortable lead throughout most of the game as opposed to the two teams’ first meeting in March that resulted in a one-point Cougar victory.
“We really didn’t know what to expect the first time we played,” head coach Matt Schneck said. “This time around we did. We had a nice game plan going in to this game.”
The game plan worked all game with the offense scoring in bunches and the defense stiffening up whenever Grand Canyon tried getting back in the game.
“We executed the entire game,” Schneck said. “One of the things we worked on is putting together a full four quarters and I think we did that.”
BYU will not have much time to celebrate their first round victory as they play again today against the University of Oregon at 4:30 p.m. EST. The 12 seeded Oregon Ducks upset 5 seeded Chapman Monday night in overtime, 8-7.
BYU and Oregon have already played this year with the Cougars prevailing 10-5. With a victory, the Cougars would advance to the semifinals and face the winner of Colorado State and Sonoma State on Thursday, May 16.
“Grand Canyon plays a unique style,” Schneck said. “Oregon is a little different, but I think we match up well.”