If you were not aware, Utah has a lacrosse team in its third year of existence and competing as an independent since there are no other lacrosse teams in the western part of the United States. In full transparency, till today, I had only seen a lacrosse game on tv, so this was my first game in person. As a Utah fan who lives in Wisconsin, I rarely get to see a Utah Utes team play in person in any sport, so it was fantastic to watch the Utes beat Marquette and be there to see it firsthand. For any Utah fans who live in Utah, I urge you to get to at least one Utah Lacrosse game this season. The games are a lot of fun, and this team is competing well above expectations, considering the program is still in its infancy, and most of their current players are only Freshmen and Sophomores. On another note, I was beyond impressed with the parents of the players in attendance. I certainly did not expect Utah fans to outnumber Marquette fans for a game in Milwaukee, WI, but they travel well. Now, on to the action.
Utah would get on the board first early in the game, with a goal coming on a power play after a pushing foul on Marquette. Marquette would respond with a quick goal before Utah responded with two goals within six seconds of each from Tyler Bradbury and Cole Brams to give Utah a 3-1 lead. With a little over 8 minutes to play, Utah would score again to hold a 4-1 lead. Unfortunately, the Utes struggled throughout the game on face-offs and turnovers, and Marquette used that advantage to find a way back into the game. Marquette responded with two goals within 10 seconds of each other to make it 4-3. Marquette then scored with 2:34 left to tie the game at 4-4. With a little over a minute left, Jordan Hyde scored to give Utah a brief 5-4 lead before Marquette tied it up at 5-5, closing out an action-packed first quarter.
The second quarter picked up where things left off in the first as Marquette took their first and only lead of the game to make it 6-5. A little over 2 minutes later, Utah responded with a goal from MJ McMahon to tie it up at 6-6. A little under 2 minutes later, MJ scored again to give the Utes a 7-6 lead. After Marquette tied the game at 7-7, the Utes responded with two goals in the final 3 minutes to give them a 9-7 lead at halftime.
In the second half, the game slowed down significantly, and each team tightened up defensively. Marquette managed to score two goals in the first 6 minutes to tie the game once again at 9-9. It took Utah about 12 minutes into the second half to get on the board as Tyler Bradbury scored to make it 10-9, which is how the score remained at the end of the quarter.
A little over two minutes into the 4th Quarter, Marquette scored to tie the game at 10-10. Zion Dechesere came up with some huge saves in the next couple of minutes to keep the game tied for the Utes. With 9 minutes remaining, Carson Moyer scored for the Utes to make it 11-10. With 3:34 on the clock, Colby Plotts scored to give Utah a 12-10 lead after terrific defending from the Utes led to a fast break, and some great ball movement led to the goal. At this point, it appeared there was no way back for Marquette until a turnover from Utah led to a goal for Marquette with 37 seconds remaining. Marquette won the face-off, which allowed them to tie the game. Fortunately, the Utes once again stood tall defensively, and thanks to some physical play and great goalkeeping, the Utes were able to see the game out and hold on for a 12-11 victory.
Jordan Hyde, Tyler Bradbury, and MJ McMahon scored two goals each to lead the Utes. With the win, the Utes improved to 2-1 on the season. The Utes will now travel to Jacksonville, FL, to face the Jacksonville Dolphins on Sunday, March 6th at 4 pm MT.