The championship win was the team’s 20th win of the season, which gave the Cougars a final record of 20-3. BYU also is now tied with Colorado State for the most MCLA national championships in league history with four. Between the Cougars’ last title, in 2007, and the 2011 crown, Michigan had won three straight.
Consistently one of the top programs in the Division I Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association, the BYU men’s lacrosse team found its way to the top again in 2011.
The culmination of a season full of highlights, including an undefeated home record, came when the Cougars overcame an early deficit to rattle off five second-quarter goals in beating Arizona State 10-8 in the national title game in late May.
It’s the fourth MCLA Division I championship for BYU.
Coach Matt Schneck is in his second year and said how pleased he was with his team.
“The 2011 BYU lacrosse team is a special group of young men that demonstrated that they are true champions both on and off the field,” Schneck said in a news release after winning the championship game.
Senior Dan Cole garnered tournament MVP honors and helped the Cougars control possession, winning face-offs consistently throughout the tournament.
“There is no better way to finish than to go out on top,” Cole said in a news release. “This win means years of hard work and dedication on everyone’s part. From the coaches to each player, we all had to sacrifice this year and it was all worth it.”
Goalkeeper Matt Brandenburg broke his thumb the night before the championship game, during a 14-11 semifinal victory over Colorado State, forcing freshman Wes Goar to start in the net for the championship game. Following two second-half BYU penalties, Goar made two key saves that were critical for the Cougars and he played an integral part in the team’s win.
“We had 100 percent confidence in Wes taking on the starting role in goal heading into this national championship game,” Schneck said. “He was prepared and ready to take on the challenge. He played an outstanding game.”
Assistant coach Jordan Harris said Goar had improved his skills as a goalie, and it showed during the championship.
“With Wes we knew we had a big-time keeper, but we wanted to see more consistency out of him,” Harris said in a news release. “He could have given up and stopped working when he lost his starting job three-fourths of the way through the season, but he did the opposite. He went back to work and became a better goalie, and it showed on the biggest stage.”
Schneck reflected on what his first championship as head coach means to the lacrosse program.
“I am thrilled for the entire program to have accomplished such an incredible feat in our second year,” Schneck said. “This victory should be attributed to the dedication of the entire coaching staff, team and supporters of BYU lacrosse.”
Another accomplishment this season was the lacrosse team having some of its games broadcast nationwide on BYUtv. The first game that was broadcast live was on March 15 against the San Diego Toreros.
Schneck implemented a plan to work with donors and raise funds to get BYU lacrosse back on the air after three years. Schneck said he’s grateful for his team and fans all over the country to be able to enjoy this.
“We are thrilled with the opportunity for lacrosse to be broadcast once again on BYUtv,” he said. “We are especially excited for our BYU lacrosse fans and alumni that are living in many different parts of the country. The University and BYUtv have been great to work with.”
For more: http://universe.byu.edu/node/16294