BYU Upended by Virginia Tech at MCLA Championships

IRVINE, CA The third-seeded Brigham Young team exited the MCLA National Championships after the first round, Monday, losing to fourteenth seed Virginia Tech, 6-11. The result marks the first time BYU has ever failed to advance further into the tournament, which the Cougars have qualified for every year since its inauguration.

The Cougars were first to strike offensively. BYU co-captain Zach Jordan won the opening faceoff, clearing the ball out to sophomore LSM Evan Clinger. Freshman #40, Aaron Fjeldsted, then scored on the opening possession, giving Brigham Young their only lead of the game, 1-0.

Senior Tech attackman Davis Mayberry scored the next three goals of the game, two in the first quarter and the third at the start of the second. Hokie midfielder Wade Baker provided two assists to Mayberry's hat trick.

A determined scoring effort by BYU's Mike Fabrizio pulled the Cougars within one, and set the tone for a well-developed possession later in the quarter. Co-captain Hayden Dixon capitalized on the momentum, tying the game 3-3.

One more goal by each side during the final minutes of the second quarter had the teams tied at four. Virginia Tech called timeout as time was expiring in the half. As the final seconds of the period ran off the clock, Mayberry quickly fed freshman Alex Clough, who sent the Hokies to the break up one goal with a zinging shot. Halftime score: BYU 4, Virginia Tech 5.

Tech extended on their lead in the third quarter. Three Hokie goals in the opening minutes of the half were protected later in the quarter by Virginia Tech's hustle past Cougars to ground balls. BYU was unable to capitalize on their first man-up opportunities of the game and entered the last period trailing 4-8.

The back-and-forth first minutes of the fourth quarterfinally gave way to the brightest moments of the Cougars' performance. An unassisted goal by BYU's Jake Arbon relieved some of the mounting tension. Minutes later, Christian Taylor passed the ball to Jayden Haws', whose powerful shot found the net and shrunk the Cougars' deficit to two.

But the run ended as Tech's #12, Joseph Rittenhouse, notched his hat trick and minutes later scored his fourth goal of the game, putting the Hokies out of reach, 6-10. A final Virginia Tech goal into an empty net brought the final tally to Cougars 6, Hokies 11.

"One of the keys to the game was the speed at which it was played," BYU head coach Matt Schneck said after the game. "Viriginia Tech was able to take us out of our plan and we didn't play at the speed we needed to in order to not fall short."

Brigham Young will finish their 2014 season in a consolation game Tuesday, May 13, against Indiana. Virginia Tech will face the six-seeded University of California, Santa Barbara in the MCLA quarterfinals later the same day.


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