Spartan Magic! Green & White defeat BYU 12-7 to advance to MCLA D1 National Championship Game

by Cam Holding

(L-R) Bennett Osterink, Charlie Pistner and Nick Bowman celebrate the Spartan's 10th goal (pc: Tricia Donovan)

Michigan State's Men's Lacrosse team (17-2) defeated #7 seed Brigham Young (16-4) 12-7 Thursday night in Salt Lake City to advance to their first Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association D1 National Championship game Saturday afternoon. 

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#19 Senior midfielder Jay Warren beats FIVE BYU defenders to score the Spartan's first goal! (pc: Tricia Donovan)

#8 Blake Turner scores in the third quarter (pc: Tricia Donovan)

After a back-and-forth first half that found the Spartans leading 4-3 at the break, Michigan State erupted for six goals in the third quarter to take a 10-4 lead. Senior face off specialist Hunter Stephans and the wing unit of Ian Genord, Sam Robbins and Sam Uecker won 16 of 23 face offs on the night to give Sparty a huge time of possession advantage. Stephans led all players with 11 ground balls and scored the first goal of his lacrosse career in the fourth quarter.

#77 Sophomore LSM Ian Genord and the face off unit were instrumental in the Spartan's success Thursday night (pc: Tricia Donovan)

#2 Senior FOS Hunter Stephans on his way to scoring his first career goal in the fourth quarter (pc: Tricia Donovan)

Sophomore attack Bennett Osterink lead the Spartan's balanced scoring with five points (3G, 2A) and Senior Brett Braun complimented Bennett with a four point night (3G, 1A). Senior Goalie Kevin Boland continued to shine behind a stout Spartan defense and had seven saves on the night.

 #6 Senior attack Brett Braun gets a great pass from #7 Bennett Osterink and rolls the crease for a goal (pc: Tricia Donovan)

Michigan State, seeded third in this year's tournament, will play the Chapman University Panthers at 2:30 pm MDT on Saturday, May 12 for the MCLA D1 National Championship. Live streaming of the final will be available (check Twitter @MSU_Lacrosse for the link). Chapman won the 2016 MCLA D1 National Championship on their home field in Orange California.

#1 Sophomore midfielder Nick Bowman fires a shot vs BYU (pc: Tricia Donovan)

#8 Junior Midfielder Blake Turner dodges against BYU in the MCLA D1 Semifinal Thursday night (pc: Warrior Lacrosse)

#5 Junior Attack Charlie Pistner backs down against the Cougar close defense (pc: MCLA)

#22 Senior close defense Patrick Donovan clears vs BYU (pc: Warrior Lacrosse)