LACROSSE: The Westminster men's lacrosse team saw its run through the MCLA National Championship come to an end in the semifinals with a 9-7 loss against in-state rival Utah Valley on Friday afternoon.
The 10th-seeded Griffins were trying for a second championship game appearance in three seasons, but they couldn't overtake the third-seeded Wolverines. Westminster completes the season at 13-8 overall.
Utah Valley jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the opening minutes of the first quarter. Gian Sexsmith responded for the Griffins with back-to-back goals to tie the game at 2-2 after the opening quarter. Jummy Nguyen tied the game again at 3-3 midway through the second quarter. A late UVU goal by Peter Santamaria made it 4-3 at the half and gave UVU the lead for good.
The Wolverines pushed their lead to 8-5 with 7:35 to play in the fourth quarter. The Griffins bounced back with goals from Jake Arthur and Sexsmith to trail just 8-7 with 1:50 remaining. Chad Frost scored on an empty net for UVU to make it 9-7 and seal the victory.
Utah Valley went 2-for-2 with a man advantage while holding the Griffins scoreless in four opportunities playing a man-up. Sexsmith led all Griffins with three goals in the game and Nguyen added two. Jacob Wayman and Arthur scored the other two Griffin goals and all seven goals were unassisted. Dallas McLellan posted four saves between the pipes.
Westminster is now 7-3 all-time at the MCLA National Championship, including winning the 2008 title. The Griffins have advanced to the semifinals or better three times in the four years of the program.