In what could easily be called one of the premier MCLA fall ball games this fall, BYU defeated Simon Fraser 17-9
Saturday afternoon at the University Fields on BYU Campus. The game featured two of the top 5 teams from this past season, and lived up to its billing.
BYU came out of the gates strong as Senior Elliot Grow made a cross field pass to Sophomore Tyson Poole who stuck his shot in the top left corner of the goal to take the 1-0 lead. BYU would keep the pressure on as Sophomore Ted Ferrin and Sophomore Kent Mann would each find the back of the net before Poole found the net again to give the Cougars an early 4-0 lead.
“This week in practice and before the game we talked about starting fast,” said Senior Taylor Redd. “We came out firing and put the pressure on them early. It set the tone for the rest of the game.”
The Cougars would add to their lead before the end of the first quarter. Sophomore Jacob Houghton found Mann on the crease who put away his second goal of the game, and Senior Chris West found the back of the net off the next face-off to give the Cougars a 6-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
“We couldn’t have been more happy with the first quarter,” said Assistant Coach Jordan Harris. “But coming out of that first quarter we knew Simon Fraser was going to make a run. It wasn’t going to come easy all game, and we expected Simon Fraser to come out strong in the second.”
Simon Fraser did come out strong, getting on the board just 40 seconds into the second quarter as Senior Adam Foss ran past two defenders and put one past Senior goalie Will Hilton. Simon Fraser added two more unanswered goals to cut the Cougar lead in half.
With only 8 seconds left on the clock, BYU Head Coach Matt Schneck called timeout to set up a play to try and add to their lead before halftime. Assistant Coach Josh Austin helped craft a last second effort to put the Cougars on the board during the second quarter. After the timeout, Grow took the ball and drove to the goal and stuck a diving shot that beat the clock by 2 seconds to break the scoreless streak and give the Cougars a 7-3 lead going into half.
“It’s fantastic to have so many offensive weapons like Elliot Grow to choose from,” said Schneck. “He is a leader both on and off the field and represents everything you would hope for in a returning 4 year starter. We needed to put something on the board after a tough second quarter and if that meant calling a time out with 8 seconds left to put something together, so be it. It’s not always going to go your way, this time it did. We are developing new habits and new traditions with this team and it all begins with how we respect our time on the field.”
Coming out of halftime Simon Fraser again cut into the Cougars lead on a quick goal off of the opening face-off. Junior Dan Cole answered right back for the Cougars as he won the next face-off and took the ball all the way around the cage and wrapped a shot around the Simon Fraser keeper. The Cougars and Clan would trade goals the rest of the quarter to end the third quarter with BYU up on Simon Fraser 11-7.
The fourth quarter would start the same as the third, with Simon Fraser cutting into the BYU lead with a quick goal to bring the Clan within three. Grow would answer for the Cougars, followed by another Simon Fraser goal. The rest of the quarter would belong to Cougars as they added five unanswered goals to end the game. Mann added his third goal of the game on a put-back after a loose ball in front of the Simon Fraser goal. Freshmen Zach Jordan, Mike Fabrizio, and Zach Hansen each added goals during the run.
“It was nice to end the game the way we started.” said Harris. “We know we have a lot we still need to work on. There were a lot of little mistakes today that we need to correct, and that’s why we play fall ball. The effort is important regardless of when the games are, and the guys brought that all day.”
The Cougars continue their fall ball campaign next Friday against local rival Utah Valley University. The game will be held at 4:00 PM at Utah Valley University.