SALT LAKE CITY — The No. 7 BYU men’s lacrosse team led just twice during its Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association national quarterfinal against second-ranked Utah.
The first was a 1-0 start to the game.
And the second was 10-9 to finish it.
Junior attack Chris Severson scored his first and only goal of the match with six seconds remaining to help the Cougars stun the rival Utes 10-9 and advance to the MCLA semifinals at the Salt Lake Regional Athletic Complex.
"Today was a big team-offense day for us," said Severson, a Bingham High product. "We didn't know whose stick it would end up in. It landed on me, I knew time was short, and I just let it go."
Utah star Josh Stout led all scorers with five goals and an assist. But the former Lone Peak star with 60 goals on the year was held to just one score in the second half, thanks to a physical man-defense by BYU longstick midfielder Matthias Perez, a Brighton High product.
"We talked about locking (Stout) off, and waited to see how things were going," BYU coach Matt Schneck said after the match. "Once he started scoring, we knew we needed to make the adjustments — and it was the right adjustment to make."
Stout had four goals and an assist in leading the Utes to a 6-3 halftime lead. But BYU’s Connor Bernal slotted home a goal with just under 10 minutes remaining to level the match at 7-7.
The Utes answered with two goals in less than four minutes, including Stout’s first goal of the half in transition off a feed from freshman Jake Nutter with 6:43 left that gave Utah a 9-7 lead.
Freshman Jake Halversen netted a goal for the Cougars, and Zach Labrum scored his second with a man-advantage to tie the match, 9-9 with two minutes remaining.
That set up the late-match heroics by Seversen, who took a pass from Labrum and scored the final marker inside the far post with mere seconds remaining to exact revenge on the Utes.
"Tough end, but it had to end eventually," Utah coach Brian Holman said in a statement from the club. "At the end of the day, BYU played a heck of a lacrosse game. It was another lacrosse game, and in our program, it's always more about life than lacrosse and this is a small blip on the radar."
Utah, which rolled by BYU to end the regular season, will move to NCAA Division I beginning July 1. The Utes will be the western-most Division I team in the NCAA, and the third program west of the Mississippi River.
"I remember turning to one of the guys and saying 'this may be one of the best wins, from a lacrosse standpoint,'" Schneck said. "It was one of the happiest moments — for a lot of different reasons.
"We lost to them earlier in the season, it's Utah, and it's the last time we'll ever play each other. It's good to be the one to come out on top."
BYU, which defeated defending champion Grand Canyon 14-11 in Monday’s opening round, will face the winner of Michigan State and Virginia Tech Thursday at the RAC.
The Cougars, who have qualified for every MCLA Division I tournament since 1997, will play in their first semifinal since the four-time MCLA national champion lost to Colorado State in 2013.
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