Lacrosse, rugby ready for big weekend


The Ute lacrosse team has high hopes for this season, as it continues its progression through the national ranks.

Head coach Mase Goodhand is in his fourth year at the U, and has seen a great deal of improvement during his short tenure.

“We’ve come from being a casual, player-coached club to being on the verge of national contention,” Goodhand said.

The Utes already sit at No. 20 in the country after a 1-1 start, and they will have plenty of opportunity to improve in one of the nation’s most competitive conferences, the USLIA.

After beating Arizona State 15-11, they gave No. 5 Arizona a run for their money in a nail-biting 8-10 loss that perhaps signified their readiness to compete at an elite level.

They’ll have another shot at the best today in their home opener against No. 9 Colorado (Stillwell Field, 4 p.m.). Goodwin hopes to raise eyebrows with a good showing.

“One of the things we’ve struggled with in the past is composure,” Goodwin said, “We are close to establishing ourselves, but a lot depends on the maturity of our junior leaders.”

Goaltender Jeremy Johnson boasts an impressive 60 percent save percentage on the early season, and is among a group of juniors returning from last season. The Utes do not have a senior, at least in terms of eligibility, and they rely heavily on a talented youth movement.

Sophomore attacker Tom Fernandez leads the offense named team captain after leading the conference in scoring as a freshman, and he has picked up right where he left off with eight points in the first two contests.

The team stays in Salt Lake City to face Texas A&M on Sunday at 11 a.m.


The No. 8 Ute rugby squad faces No. 3 BYU tomorrow at the annual Wasatch Cup match tomorrow.

The game takes place at the Ballif field to Alumni House, and is the U’s home opener.

They will try to reverse last year’s outcome, when BYU won the Cup and left the Utes at home for the national tournament.

“We have the exact same team back, and we feel that we’ve improved our cohesiveness and we’re a lot more familiar with one another,” said kicker Peter Black.

BYU is suffering from injuries to a couple of key players, and the Utes expect to have an advantage over the Cougars on Saturday.

So far this season, the U has topped Southern Utah 38-14 to win the Red Rock Tournament in St. George and thrashed UVSC 70-7 (in which the varsity relieved the JV to score 11 tries in the second half).

Rugby is a club sport at the U, and they rely on fundraising to cover the extensive costs of facilities and travel. The team is hosting a hip-hop party at 9:30 on Saturday night at the Ft. Douglas Officer’s Club, and Black encourages people to attend and show their support.

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