Utah Lacrosse Drops First Home Game to Jacksonville

University+of+Utah+Mens%27s+Lacrosse+team+players+defend+during+an+NCAA+game+vs.+Bellarmine+University+at+the+Rice+Eccles+Stadium+in+Salt+Lake+City%2C+Utah+on+Friday%2C+Feb.+01%2C+2020.+%28Photo+by+Abu+Asib+%7C+The+Daily+Utah+Chronicle%29

University of Utah Mens’s Lacrosse team players defend during an NCAA game vs. Bellarmine University at the Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday, Feb. 01, 2020. (Photo by Abu Asib | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Eric Jensen, Sports Writer

 

On a beautiful 60-degree day, the University of Utah lacrosse team fell to Jacksonville University 8-3. The fans in attendance weren’t enough to help the Utes, as goaltending was an issue for the team in the loss.

Utah was never able to get a handle on the game. After a fairly positive first period, the Utes gave up five goals in the second and never got back in the game. Head coach Brian Holman was impressed by Jacksonville’s physicality.

“We had a good scout on them and they’re very aggressive, and they’re more athletic than us. I thought we got manhandled there a little bit. I was really proud of our defense, though. I thought defensively our athleticism shows up. That’s something I knew before the year started that most of our older, more veteran, guys are on the defensive side of the ball,” Holman said.

Goaltending was an issue as Connor Hollison was pulled in the third in favor of Zion Dechesere who slowed the bleeding a bit.

First

The first period ended with Utah up 1-0 over Jacksonville. The Ute’s only goal came off a power play from Peter Hagan. The Utes spent most of the first quarter cycling the ball and getting good possession on the Jacksonville side of the field.

After Jacksonville took a penalty, the Utes capitalized on a shot from the slot. The defense played extremely well overall. Goalie Connor Hollison made several good saves for the Utes in the period, and his stick movement on those saves was excellent.

The Utes didn’t have to defend long though, as the possession mostly resided in Jacksonville’s half.

Second

Jacksonville started the second period, scoring on a Nathan Kapp goal. After that, the scoring did not stop for Jacksonville.

The Utes defense was porous as the Jacksonville side got the ball to the net with ease in almost every possession. Things did not go well for Hollison in the second. Jacksonville would score four more and ultimately end the half up 5-1. This would ultimately lead to Hollison being pulled as Zion Dechesere entered the game at goalie.

The Utes didn’t get any real attacking possession within the period and were pinned deep most of the time. Jacksonville delivered several crushing hits on the Utes, the physicality seemed to wear the Utes down going into halftime.

Third

The Utes conceded two goals early but were able to battle back a bit in the third. After a crushing illegal hit to the head by Jacksonville, the Utes were sent on a two-minute power play. They would not waste that opportunity as Jordan Hyde would score the third goal of the day for the Utes. It was a beautiful, snapping shot that found the back of the net.

Other than that, the Utes remained largely pinned down.

“No excuses. We didn’t handle their pressure well. That was a bad performance by us all-around. We turned the ball over, unforced a lot. I thought we got rattled, and that’s the first time I’ve seen our kids rattled since I’ve been out here. So I’ve got to figure out what that was all about,” Holman said.

Fourth

Jacksonville came into Saturday’s game with a plan and executed it very well. They let the Utes cycle the ball around the outside but never let them cut inside.

They did an extremely good job of shutting down the shooting lanes and keeping the tempo at their pace. On the offensive side of things, they ran well, filled lanes and created opportunities.

That cutting offense eventually led to a Jeremy Winston goal that would put the game out of reach for the Utes. Jacksonville was unaffected by the altitude — back home they play 17 feet above sea level, opposed to the 4,000 the Utes are used to.

Jacksonville never looked tired in the game — they looked conditioned and ready to go. They looked like a very talented lacrosse team. They played extremely well throughout the final three periods and that lead to a dominating victory over Utah.

What’s Next

The Utes will need to remove this loss from their memories and move on. Their next game is set for next Saturday, March 13, against Westminster College as the Utes take on an in-state foe. That game can be watched on a Utah live stream.

 

[email protected]

@EricJensenSport