Lacrosse splits in weekend action

The No. 20 U lacrosse team faced off against two top-flight programs this weekend, and lost to No. 9 Colorado in a hotly contested 13-9 loss on Friday afternoon before the team crushed No. 19 Texas A&M 11-6 on Sunday.

The Utes were without coach Mase Goodhand on Friday and played an experienced Buffalo team tough in their leader’s absence.

Junior attack man Stefan Turkula shined in the loss, creating a number of turnovers and tallying his first hat trick on the season.

The fleet-footed Turkula wrecked havoc on the Buffalo defense, which could barely manage to keep him marked as he swept around Colorado’s crease.

A large crowd cheered the Utes on as they rallied in the second half to close the gap to 10-8. Junior goaltender Jeremy Johnson made 21 saves, keeping the Utes alive through a seemingly endless offensive onslaught.

Just as they seemed poised to overtake the talented Buffaloes, the Utes were penalized for an illegal stick length and Colorado seized the opportunity, notching three quick goals and sealing the victory.

The Utes fared considerably better against the Aggies on Sunday afternoon in a convincing 11-6 win. Freshman standout Bryce Edwards and junior Rich Qualey both scored twice on the day. They trounced the Aggies in possession, out-shooting them 31-7, while freshmen defensemen Rob McQuade and Clint English led a defensive effort that stymied the overmatched opposition. The win over the Aggies brings the U to 2-2 on the campaign, their other loss coming against No. 5 Arizona.

The U is an inexperienced squad, and looks to continue its ascension through the rankings with more consistent play against higher-echelon opponents in the future.

The Utes will face Baylor in the Bears’ first-ever visit to Salt Lake this Friday at 3 p.m. on Stillwell Field (across the street from Alumni Squad).

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