BYU Finds a Way to Beat Chapman
There were 11 seconds left in the game and defending MCLA national champion and top-ranked No. 1 Brigham Young needed a goal. Without one, No. 4 Chapman would be walking off its own field on Saturday night with the biggest win of the Dallas Hartley era.
With the Cougars in possession on the edge of their offensive zone, the whistle blew.
"We had a scripted play that did not work out," said BYU head coach Matt Schneck. "Chapman did an excellent job reading our look and thwarted what we were attempting to do. We have been working on our 'free play' during the fall and during our preseason to help identify better looks in the event things don't work out as scripted. Once the play was off, it was 'free play' and the guys put themselves into position to make something happen."
What happened was a partially deflected pass found its way into the stick of senior attackman Drew Shumway, who beat Chapman junior goalie Matt Sathrum with one tick left on the clock.
As exciting as the Cougars comeback from a five-goal second half deficit to tie the affair was, the next two overtimes matched it. It finally ended when junior middie Pat Matheson scored his third goal of the game, allowing BYU to escape.
"We won the faceoff and called time-out to control the situation," said Schneck. "Once we lost our first possession, it was back and forth chaos for the remainder of the first overtime period. I was happy when it ended to get an opportunity to regroup. Assistant coach Jordan Harris told the defense to be patient and expect that the ball may come down to our defensive end three or four times before we score. He was close with his prediction."
When BYU trailed 10-5 in the third quarter and Sathrum (who ended with 16 saves) playing well for the Panthers, the Cougars were in dire straits. The calmness that they showed during the comeback was even somewhat surprising to their coach.
"I told the team that I was proud of them for never giving up," Schneck said. "It was a hard-fought game and they demonstrated a great deal of poise to overcome what seemed to be an insurmountable task. I am convinced that every team we play will bring their best game against us, and we need to prepare for a fight with every one of them. Ted Ferrin (3g, 2a) was our flag-bearer for this game and before it he told the team that it would require a great deal of heart tonight. He was right on."
The heavy lifting is not done for the Cougars on this trip, however. They play No. 7 Cal Poly this evening (Monday) in San Luis Obispo, which will be BYU's sixth game in the last 12 days, with all but one of them coming on the road.
After what they were able to do against Chapman, however, it's tough to bet against the champs.