Utah Lacrosse Prepares for Air Force Matchup

University+of+Utah+freshman+Cole+Brams+%2824%29+lining+up+for+a+face+off+during+an+NCAA+Lacrosse+game+vs.+the+Furman+University+Paladins+at+Rice+Eccles+Stadium+in+Salt+Lake+City%2C+Utah+on+Saturday%2C+Feb.+22%2C+2020.+%28Photo+by+Jalen+Pace+%7C+The+Daily+Utah+Chronicle%29

University of Utah freshman Cole Brams (24) lining up for a face off during an NCAA Lacrosse game vs. the Furman University Paladins at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. (Photo by Jalen Pace | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Sean Overton, Sports Writer

 

The University of Utah lacrosse team is set for their third away game after defeating Bellarmine 12-7 on the road. The team will be traveling to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Although Utah has some of the most miles travelled of any program this year, the team has had a week off to prepare for this game, so they are ready to come out strong.

Tyler Bradbury and Jordan Hyde have both played great so far this year, with Bradbury scoring six goals and adding four assists this season. Hyde has scored six goals, including four goals off of four shots against Bellarmine in their last game.

Utah has a record of 1-1, a narrow 8-9 loss at Denver, and a strong 12-7 victory at Bellarmine. Denver is currently ranked No. 5, so the Utes played astoundingly well to keep the game that close.

Air Force has only played one game this season, and that was a bad 6-15 loss to Denver. August Johnson and Ethan Grandolfo both had two goals for Air Force and will be a defensive challenge for the Utes heading into the matchup. Air Force goalie and senior captain Braden Host also showed his skill in long passes, sending two cross-field passes leading to goals.

Air Force won just 6 of 24 face off attempts against Denver, compared to 12 of 20 for Utah against Denver. Expect Utah to have a strong advantage on face offs throughout the game.

The team will definitely have a challenge on defense but expect our offense to have a strong outing. Air Force goalkeeper Host saved just 17 of 32 shots on frame against Denver, compared to Utah’s Zach Johns 16 saves on 25 shots against Denver.

It will come as no surprise if most of Utah’s shots end up going in, especially if Hyde has another fantastic shooting game such as his game against Bellarmine. Utah has managed to get 41 of 67 shots on frame, and expect the team to shoot even better against Air Force.

With the combination of a defensive challenge for the team and strong offense, this game is shaping up to be very high scoring. It will be crucial for Utah’s defense to get stops, and for Zach Johns to get saves.

At the end of the day, Utah was able to keep very close with a very high-powered Denver team, while Air Force suffered a brutal loss to them. And adding on to that, Utah has gotten a week off to prepare for this game so expect Utah to have a strong start and dominate the game.

The game is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. MST at Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs on Feb. 20. This game is one of Utah’s closest games this season, as they are one of the teams with the most distance traveled throughout this season.

This is Utah’s third game out of a four-game away stretch, with the last game against Loyola in Baltimore. Utah looks to improve their record to 2-1 with the matchup at Air Force, and don’t be surprised if Utah comes out on top.

 

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@SeanOverton3