Lacrosse: No. 25 Utah knocks off Michigan State

By By Tim Haslam and By Tim Haslam

By Tim Haslam

The No. 25 Utah lacrosse team faced off against No. 23 Michigan State on Sunday at Juan Diego High School in Sandy.

Utah came out cold, and Michigan State took advantage by taking a quick four goal lead in the first quarter.

Michigan State started the second quarter off strong as well, scoring a quick goal to take a 5-0 lead. Utah answered with a goal by freshman midfielder, Danny Polityka, before Michigan State countered with long possession which yielded another goal, making the score, 6-1.

Utah followed up with five unanswered goals, stretching over the halftime break to square the score at 6-6.

The Utes and Spartans continued to trade scores after that, with Nick Merrel and brother Cory teaming up for one of those scores. The two teams ended the third period in an 8-8 tie.

Michigan State started the fourth quarter on fire as they scored two goals to take a 10-8 lead. Utah fans who braved the weather continued to urge their team toward a late-game rally.

Junior midfielder, Jon Owens, scored two of his five goals to tie the score at 10-10. Cory Merrell notched the go-ahead goal for Utah with two minutes left in the game. Junior attackman, Matt Qualey, scored a goal with about a minute left in the game to widen the gap for Utah.

“When everyone does their job, everything comes out all right,” Qualey said.

Michigan State gave the Utes a scare, however, by scoring a goal with 20 seconds left in the game.

Utah won the following face-off and took the ball to their end and killed the rest of the clock, securing a 12-11 win.

“Our team stepped up, and our guys filled in where they were needed,” Utah head coach Rich Levi said. “I am happy with the win. Owens stepped up and finished when the game is on the line, and he did that today.”

Utah will face Arizona State University (ranked No. 8) on Sunday at Juan Diego High School in Sandy. Face-off will be at 1 p.m.

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