The Utah lacrosse team played its first game against Division I talent earlier this Saturday, falling to UMBC 16-5.
The game was close as Utah was down just 3-2 after the first quarter and 5-4 at halftime. Eventually, UMBC went on a major run in the second quarter, in which they scored seven goals to take a 12-4 lead.
It was definitely disappointing in the second part of the game and that isn’t a true representation of Utah lacrosse. Utah was basically playing the entire game down and couldn’t find momentum throughout to save themselves from losing this game.
“At the end of the day, we learned a ton. It’s a process, it’s growth, we are incrementally learning, reevaluating, watching film, fixing things that we know we can fix and continuing to push with our mentality,” said head coach Brian Holman.
Holman also stated that the team needs to get into the weight room and stack on physical weight, especially for the freshman players.
There’s a lot of room for improvement and it’s convenient for Utah that it was only an exhibition match-up.
Now that they have had true competition in a Division I opponent like UMBC, there are many things they can take from this and learn from it. “I liked that we played really, really hard — a staple of our program effort,” said Holman.
The Utes will focus more on developing players as opposed to more team practices. “We’ll be working on more shooting, footwork, dodging and more intense focus for the game.”
“We’ll also switch it up — swim, play basketball, and hike,” Holman said.
At the end of the day, it’s better to lose now in these exhibition match-ups as opposed to regular season games which will end up being a permanent factor into their record.
With a loss against UMBC, the Utes look forward to developing their players. Their next and final exhibition match-up will be against Marquette on Jan. 26 in Salt Lake City.