SALT LAKE CITY — In its final season of club lacrosse in the Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association, the second-ranked University of Utah did something special.
BYU had defeated its biggest rival on 22-straight occasions, having never lost to the Utes in the regular season.
With just over two months left before becoming the NCAA’s Western-most Division I program, Utah put an end to its lengthy losing streak.
Josh Stout had four goals and three assists, and the No. 2 Utes used a 7-1 second quarter to pull away from the fifth-ranked Cougars 16-8 at Ute Soccer Field.
“For all of the guys that played Utah lacrosse in the past, this is a huge win,” Utah coach Brian Holman said of the four-time national champion Cougars. “For us, this was more for about them. And for our program — BYU are the kings. They still are; they hold all the records, the national championships, the trophies. We don’t have anything. We’re still trying to learn as a program how to compete at that level. BYU has always been the mark.”
Goalkeeper Daniel Costa, a transfer from St. John's, made 10 saves for the Utes.
Former Timpanogos standout Winston Farley scored four goals to lead the Cougars (13-2), who wrap up the regular season this upcoming Saturday against Utah Valley.
Farley tied the game early at 3-3 just over two minutes into the second quarter of a one-goal game in the early stages.
But Stout’s first goal of the game came with 10:47 remaining in the half, and the Utes went on a 9-0 blitz to pull ahead 12-3 on Liam Cavanaugh-Fernandez’s goal with 11:51 remaining in the third quarter.
“It’s pretty simple: play together, and that was our whole game plan,” said Stout, who prepped at Lone Peak. “We knew they would have runs and we were told that at halftime. They did, but we continued to stay poised and kept going.”
The Cougars didn’t go away, though. Farley scored his fourth goal of the game to pull BYU within six, 13-7, in the fourth. But Stout dropped in three straight goals, including a backpedaling score with 2:54 remaining, to ice the game and the undefeated regular season.
“I’m pretty happy, honestly. It’s a lot of hard work, but it paid off,” Stout said. “Hopefully we can keep it going.”
The Utes have a week off before beginning Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference tournament play April 27 in Orem. The MCLA national tournament begins May 7 at the Salt Lake Regional Athletic Complex, 2350 Rose Park Lane.
Both teams are likely to be involved in the national tournament, either through the RMLC's automatic qualifier or as at-large selections.
“This team has a lot of aspirations, and BYU is a great opponent,” Holman said. “Now we’ve got to move on.”