Utah Takes Down Defending Champion Chapman


Utah opened its MCLA season with a 12-9 win over No. 1 and defending champions Chapman.

After giving up two quick goals to start the game, the Utah men's lacrosse team stayed the course, gained the lead, and held off No. 1 Chapman to win 12-9.

Veteran attackman Luke Graney scored the first goal for the Utes at the 5:58 mark, which was set up by a hustle play led by fellow attackman Josh Stout. Utah tied the game two minutes later when Stout tallied his first goal of the season after beating his defender and scoring on a great step down shot.

After five minutes of play in the second quarter, Jake Stout notched his second goal, giving Utah its first lead of the game. A heads up play by Stout led to the Utes fourth goal when he dodged from X, caught his man off guard and buried it in the back of the net. The defending champion wasn't going to lose without a fight. A fast break goal followed by a late goal in the quarter tied the game at 4 heading into halftime.

Up 9-8 in the fourth quarter, midfielder Ian Elson increased the tension, putting the Utes up by two goals with 10:30 left in the game. Gus Colonna added his second of the night four minutes later to give Utah a three-goal lead which proved to be enough. The Utah defense stood tall and the offense took the air out of the ball, sealing the Utes' victory.

"There was no panic," said Utah head coach Brian Holman. "I didn't sense anybody being worried. I sensed us putting one foot in front of the other. It's good to see our guys putting what we practice into game scenarios. I'm extremely happy with the way we responded."

Utah had seven total goal scorers. Jake Stout led the Utes with three goals and an assist, while four players notched two points. Swinney tallied 10 saves on 19 shots.

The win marks the first time Utah has beaten a No. 1 ranked opponent, and also the first over Chapman since 2004. The Utes are now 8-1 in opening games over the last nine years.

"It was hard fought. It was everything that we worked for," Graney said. "We knew we were coming in for a really hard game and they showed us a tough, tough game. We practiced a lot of these situations so I felt we were really prepared. Our hard work payed off."

US Lacrosse Magazine spoke with assistant coaches Marcus Holman and Will Manny about the progress being made at Utah as it aims to make it to Division I in the next two years.

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