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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Utes Lose Close Battle with Mount St. Mary’s

Curtis Lin
University of Utah freshman midfielder Liam Cavanaugh-Fernandez (14) looked to pass to a teammate in an NCAA Men’s Lacrosse game vs. Vermont at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, UT on Friday February 01, 2019. (Photo by Curtis Lin | Daily Utah Chronicle)


On a cloudy Saturday morning, the University of Utah lacrosse team faced off with Mount St. Mary’s University in the 12th game of their inaugural season. Like many games this year, the Utes were not able to keep the defense and lost in a late-game stunner, 16-15.

The Utes started the game off on the right foot, powering through The Mount’s defense early and often, and coming into the second quarter with a 6-2 lead. In yet another instance of early offensive production, the Utes looked good going into the halftime break, leading 10-8 and looking in control of the offensive side of the field.

It would all unravel from there, as The Mount was able to completely flip the script. They outscored the Utes 8-5 in the second half, and once the Utes were on their heels, there was no coming back. St. Mary’s freshman Jared McMahon scored the game-winner with just 1:40 remaining in the game, putting the dagger in what was a death-by-papercut type of loss for a reeling Utah team.

The team has been subject to some frustrating performances from the defensive core in their time in the NCAA. In their past five games — all of which were losses — they’ve been outscored by a whopping 76-43 margin. That’s a 33-goal difference against some mid-level teams, excluding some abysmal outings against the nation’s top clubs. The team couldn’t even break the three-goal threshold against UMass nor hang with fourth-ranked Virginia for very long past the opening faceoff.

Defensive woes aside, the team had some positives to take away from Saturday’s match.

“Little plays made the difference,” said head coach Brian Holman. “They made a couple of little plays on faceoffs with their poles — we had possession and we couldn’t get the ball off the ground.”

The Utes’ shortcomings in the faceoff have not gone unnoticed on the season. The team has immense trouble forcing turnovers and regaining possession, and once a team can set themselves up for passing opportunities in the Utah zone, they have a lot of freedom to work and make plays. It shows on the scoreboard, and it showed against The Mount.

There were some positives to take away from the game, results aside. In a rare occurrence, Josh Stout did not lead the team in offense, with the award instead going to Jimmy Perkins, who had four goals on the day. Stout did score his seventh hat trick in 2019, which puts him at a 2.82 goals/game average, good for 26th in the country.

Loss aside, Holman has always looked to what can be taken from games.

“We have to keep things in perspective. I couldn’t be more proud of every guy, every coach, every member of our program.”

Holman would go on to praise the effort given by his Utah team through 12 games on the season.

“In the big picture, I love it,” Holman said to Utah Athletics. “I think games like this make it clear the direction that we’re going in. I’m really proud of everyone and the continued growth and effort every single day.”

The Utes will look to snap their five-game skid when they face off against Hartford.

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