The University of Utah Men’s Lacrosse team beat the UNLV Rebels on Monday with a 15-11 victory in Las Vegas. The game was the third in five days, testing the young Utes in the infancy of the season.
Whenever Utah and UNLV square off, a battle is expected and this game lived up to its predecessors. Utah took an early 2-0 lead for a dream start to the game. Midfielder Gus Colonna drew the defense and found midfielder Jake Stout who had slipped under the defense. Stout turned and ripped it low. Stout scored again on the next possession when midfielder Cam Redmond dodged from the top of the box, drew the slide and found Stout who faked a step down shot then drove to goal and bounced it in. UNLV answered right back with three goals of its own to take the lead 5 minutes into the game.
As nerves settled, both teams were patient on offense and defenses took charge, leading to 9 minutes of no scoring. With a minute left in the quarter, UNLV was clearing. Attackman Aaron Fjeldsted was deep in the ride and was able to knock down a pass, Stout scooped it up and drove towards goal, drawing two defenders. Stout looked up and found Fjeldsted who had streaked towards goal. Fjeldsted faked, getting the goalies hands up then buried it in the back of the net. Midfielder Noah Hill won the ensuing face-off and shoveled the ball to midfielder Austin Porter who drove towards the middle of the field, passed to Fjeldsted on the wing then streaked towards goal. Fjeldsted recognized the give and go and gave it right back to Porter who scored to give the Utes a 4-3 at the end of the first quarter.
The Rebels were able to sneak in a goal to again tie the game. Utah went on a two goal run when midfielder Dallas Reed dodged from the top left corner of the box, drawing two defenders and the eyes of a third. Midfielder CJ Anderson found space, caught a pass from Reed and stepped down into a rocket. UNLV won the ensuing face-off and took it to the goal. Goalie Quinton Swinney made a great save and immediately found Porter streaking up field. Porter beat his man, used a nice pick at midfield, then found attackman Josh Stout who was able to find space and score.
Once again the Rebels continued to battle and scored two goals to once again tie the game. A man-up goal by UNLV off a rebound gave them the lead midway through the quarter. The next goal came of another aggressive Utah attack ride, leading to Fjeldsted finding Josh Stout for the goal. Each team would score another goal, making it 8-8 at the end of the first half. The goal came when Reed once again drew several defenders at the top of the box and found a streaking Fjeldsted who didn’t miss.
The halftime break favored Utah who came out and scored 3 goals in the third quarter while allowing 0. The first two-thirds of the quarter was a physical, back and forth affair. Colonna scored his first goal of the game at the 5:09 mark when he scooped up a groundball on a failed clear and took it the distance, shooting a burner from the alley. Josh Stout would get another goal on a slow break 2 minutes later and Reed finished off the run with 52 seconds left in the quarter when he split dodge from the top of the box, ran right and fended off several stick checks then easily beat the keeper in a one on one situation.
Utah continued to roll in the fourth quarter scoring 4 straight and again holding the Rebels scoreless. Colonna had an alley dodge top shelf rip. Josh Stout scored out of a timeout when he circled around the top of the box at full speed and lost his defender then easily scored one on one. Fjeldsted had a step down from deep and attackman Luke Graney had a spin goal from in front of the crease on a nice feed from Reed. The Rebels would score 3 at the end of the game to make the final score 15-11 for Utah.
Josh Stout led the team with 4 goals and 1 assist. Fjeldsted had 3 goals and 2 assists.
The Utes (3-0) will face Arizona State (1-2) on March 10 at the Ute Soccer Field on the University of Utah campus. Opening face-off will be at 7:00pm.
Head Coach Brian Holman on the overall game:
“It was exactly what we thought it would be. We dug in at halftime and went on a big run and that’s big for us to come out of half playing hard.”
Head Coach Brian Holman on who stood out on the field:
“I thought Quinton had a really nice game coming home. I thought Seth Neeleman had a big game. We put him down low. Austin Porter did a great job. Offensively I thought Dallas Reed did a great job. Had a bunch of assists and really took what the defense was giving him.”
Midfielder Austin Porter on getting his first goal of the season:
“First goal of the season is always the hardest one to get. It was a great feed and a perfect cut and a great play altogether.”
Midfielder Austin Porter on the overall game:
“We did pretty well. We have some things to work on and get better at but it’s all up from here.”