SALT LAKE CITY — In the blink of an eye, Utah lacrosse’s season was over.

The Utes, who are in their second NCAA Division I campaign, were six games into the season, with a record of 3-3, when they found out that NCAA spring sports championships were canceled on March 12. The Pac-12 followed by suspending all Pac-12 sports competitions that day, then two days later, on March 14, the Pac-12 canceled all remaining sports seasons, including lacrosse, and barred all team activities until at least March 29.

Utah was on the road headed to a game in Long Island, New York, against No. 12 UMass when the team found out the stadium that was going to host the game shut down. UMass coach Greg Cannella called Utes head coach Brian Holman to tell him the Minuteman had been barred from leaving campus and asked if Utah was willing to play them at UMass, which the Utes agreed to. The team drove to Amherst on Thursday, then checked into the hotel. At 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, Kyle Brennan, Utah’s deputy athletics director, called Holman to tell him that the Pac-12 canceled spring sports. Utah’s last official team activity of the season ended up being a practice at UMass. 

“The season was going well, it had its ups and downs, but we were really working hard to be consistent and really excited about what lied ahead, because the bulk of our tougher games were really ahead of us.” — Utah lacrosse coach Brian Holman

The following day, Utah flew from Boston to Salt Lake and sent the players home.

“In 48 hours, you go from preparing for your biggest game of the year to literally saying goodbye to your team,” Holman said.

Due to the Pac-12 barring team activities, Utah couldn’t even have one last team meeting. Players had made arrangements to go home by Wednesday. The season was over. 

“It was sad. More of it was just shock that this was happening. I’ve talked to all of them here in the last week or so. Most of the guys are doing great, they’re doing well in school, but there is some sense of, ‘Did this just really happen?” 

In their second season of Division I play, the Utes had wins over Bellarmine, Furman and Jacksonville and were trying to rebound after a 11-10 loss to Mount St. Mary’s in what ended up being Utah’s last game. Two of the Utes’ three losses were by one goal. 

“We felt like we were just starting to put all the things together. We were heading into a game with UMass which a lot of our guys were really looking forward to,” Holman said. “The season was going well, it had its ups and downs, but we were really working hard to be consistent and really excited about what lied ahead, because the bulk of our tougher games were really ahead of us.”

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Jimmy Perkins led the team in goals with 18, while Colin Burke topped the squad in total points — 31 — with 15 goals and 16 assists. Mac Costin (12 points), Josh Stout (12 points) and James Sexton (9 points) round out the top five in offensive production. Liam Donnelly was the top goalkeeper for the Utes, playing 268 minutes with a .541 save percentage. 

On Monday, the NCAA announced it will grant an extra year of eligibility for spring-sport athletes. Utah has five seniors on the team — Perkins, Sexton, Burke, Dan Tracy and Aaron Fjeldsted.

With no games to prepare for, Holman is taking time to reflect on the season and making sure to stay in touch with the players. 

“That’s my No. 1 priority is to make sure that they’re OK. They really seem to be doing great with this. I’m really proud of them, of the way that they handled the situation. We’re going to turn our season into academics. I challenged them to make the rest of their season through academics like they were playing,” Holman said. 

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Above all, Holman grasps the enormity of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“I’m praying a lot for all of the people that have been affected by this. This is such an enormous event in the history of our lives. The enormity of it has really taken hold and I’m just hoping that we get through this, and I know we will, but that it doesn’t take too much of a toll on the whole country,” Holman said.