A lot of the credit just goes to the team. It was a good team effort,” Farley said. “I think we just stuck to what we do, and if we do that, we’re fine. —Winston Farley
SALT LAKE CITY — With back-to-back victories under their belts, head coach Matt Schneck and his BYU lacrosse team can feel comfortable about their position heading into the postseason.
The Cougars snapped a three-game losing streak with a pair of instate wins this week: a Senior Night thriller against Utah Valley on Thursday and a rivalry clash against Utah on Saturday.
“Winning [these games], and hopefully securing a top-10 poll spot, will hopefully put us in a good spot for the MCLA national tournament,” Schneck said. “Also, this is so good for the confidence of our boys. It changes everything.”
With the victories, the Cougars secured the No. 3 seed for the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference tournament. They face No. 2 Colorado State next week.
BYU struggled early against UVU on Thursday, trailing 5-2 only minutes into the game. After facing a 6-4 deficit at the end of the first quarter, the Cougars went on a 6-0 run to take a 10-6 lead at halftime.
“[The slow start] was more about what the defense was doing than the offense,” Schneck said. “The defense came out a little bit slow, so very quickly, [UVU] rattled off a few goals and had excitement, momentum, all these different things.”
A big part of the second quarter comeback was goalie Matt Brandenburg. After surrendering five goals on UVU’s first five shots, he didn’t give up another point until midway through the third quarter.
He finished with 15 saves in his final home game at BYU.
“You have to have a short term memory,” Brandenburg said. “You can’t remember the goals that have been scored on you. There are some things you can’t control, like having the sun in your eyes, but you can control your focus and intensity, and just keep working in the cage.”
UVU made some second-half pushes, but hot shooting from some BYU underclassmen — including Jack Fabrizio and Winston Farley — kept the Cougars with a comfortable lead. BYU was outscored 7-5 in the second half (4-1 in the fourth quarter), but UVU never drew within two goals.
Farley had a team-high four goals to go with a pair of assists. Fabrizio added two goals and three assists.
“A lot of the credit just goes to the team. It was a good team effort,” Farley said. “I think we just stuck to what we do, and if we do that, we’re fine.”
A slow start wasn’t an issue against the Utes on Saturday, as BYU jumped out to a 7-1 lead in the first quarter en route to a 15-4 victory. After halftime — at which BYU led 9-1 — the Utes scored three straight goals to cut the lead to 9-4 but never got any closer.
The RMLC Tournament is scheduled for next week in Salt Lake City (times TBA).
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