BYU Downs Arizona State to Win MCLA Crown

Commerce City, CO - Brigham Young won the 2011 Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association National Championship Saturday night, defeating the Arizona State University Sun Devils 10-8 at Dicks Sporting Good Complex in Commerce City, CO. The win gives BYU its fourth National Championship, tying them for most in league history.

After defeating league rival Colorado State on Friday night, the Cougars were coming into the Championship game playing their best lacrosse of the season.

The Cougars came out looking to avoid another slow start, which plagued them in the CSU game one night before. Junior Captain Ted Ferrin kicked off the scoring after beating his defender and diving in front of the crease while putting the ball past the Arizona State goalkeeper Sophomore Dylan Westfall.

Arizona State would respond with three goals of their own, taking a two goal lead into the first quarter break. Meticulous possession was the mark of the Sun Devils in the first quarter, controlling the ball and dominating the shots on goal statistic. The Cougars went into the quarter break looking for some answers on both the offensive and defensive end of the ball.

The Cougars found some answers when Junior Defender Jacob Houghton intercepted a Sun Devil pass during a clear attempt and found his brother Junior Jared Houghton at midfield who dumped the ball off to Ferrin who buried his shot to pull the Cougars within one.

Behind consistent face-off wins from Tournament MVP, Senior Dan Cole, the Cougars were able to start to control the possession time, and with the possession time came goals. Sophomore Jake Ferrin dodged from the top and dumped the ball off to Junior Corey Gunderson who snuck a shot past Westfall to tie the game at three a piece.

The Cougars continued to put goals on the board as Sophomore Pat Matheson powered his way past the ASU defense and blasted a shot home to give the Cougars their first lead of the day. Junior Drew Shumway would find the back of the net on the next possession, sneaking the ball in through a series of screens to push the Cougar lead to two.

The Sun Devils would fight back as Senior midfielder Ryan Westfall ripped a shot off the next face-off and beat the BYU goalkeeper Wes Goar to pull the Sun Devils back to within one.

The Cougars would survive several ASU chances in the last four minutes of the half. Goar, who took over the starting goalie position when Freshman goalkeeper Matt Brandenburg broke his thumb the night before against CSU, made several key saves to keep the Sun Devils at bay going into halftime. Following two BYU penalties Goar made two saves while two men down, and helped lead an efficient clearing game.

With one minute left in the half the Cougars had possession and were looking to add to their lead before the break. Cole would again answer the call for the Cougars as he bounced a shot past Westfall to push the Cougar lead back to two just seconds before halftime.

Coming out of halftime the Cougars looked to build on their lead, but a series of sloppy possessions lead to multiple chances for the Sun Devils to close the gap. The defense, lead by several big saves from Goar, was up to the task, holding the Sun Devils scoreless until Gunderson again found the back of the net with a quick shot from the crease.

Both goalies went punch for punch with one incredible save after another to keep both teams off the scoreboard for the majority of the third quarter. After a turnover by BYU, the Sun Devils broke the scoring drought, as they found the back of the net in a transition opportunity.

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2011-05-22



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