This past weekend was the inaugural Copper Cup which decides the best college lacrosse team in the state between Montana, Montana State and Great Falls. Friday’s match up was between old rivals, the University of Montana Grizzlies and the Montana State University Bobcats.
The series is lead by Montana with a 9 to 3 record since 2006. With 5 games won with a one goal margin and the last 2 were overtime games to boot. Montana had the 7 to 6 OT victory in Bozeman earlier in the season and this Friday Montana came out with a 8 to 7 overtime thriller in Missoula.
The game was a close battle led by the Cats for most of the game and the Grizzlies tying it up multiple times. Fast forward to late in the game, down 7 to 5 late in the 4th, Junior Attack #22 JD “Cheeze” Chapman, known for his up close and personal goals, ripped an outside shot to bring it within one goal.
Montana then made it 7 all with a last second right dodge goal by Senior Midfielder #27 Mike Hanan with 37 seconds left. I caught up with Mike after the game to get his thoughts of the end of the 4th, “I heard someone say take it. I saw a match up, got a shake, put on a step and put it in the back of the net.” After he made the goal to send it into overtime, “I knew it was big and with less than a minute but it wasn’t panic time, we kept it calm.”
In overtime with less than 3 minutest left, Junior Midfielder #25 Andrew Wenzl fed by Sophomore Middie #3 Joe Clough, hit top string and scored the game wining goal for the Grizzlies. Wenzl’s thoughts during his game ending goal, “The game was a nail biter, in my head I was thinking ‘I wanna make this goal and win the game, I’m tired, better rip this top cheddar.’ It was great to get that win on our home turf.” Andrew led the Montana with 3 goals and Joe added 4 assists.
Also impressive was the play by Senior goaltender #2 Mike Vieten who had 14 saves and a 66.7% save rate to keep Montana in the game. Earlier in the game Vieten made a mistake that led to an open net goal, not letting it get him down, he came through with some clutch saves during man up opportunities by MSU to keep his team in the game. Hank was glad to get the W saying, “I felt good about my game, I made some good saves. I have to thank the man down defense which played its best all year. People stepped up when we had to and I decided that we aren’t going to lose this game.”
With the victory the Griz rushed the field for the second time this season showing off the great feeling of coming out on top over its instate rival. Sunday Montana takes on UGF at noon for the highly prized Copper Cup trophy.
About Grizzly Lacrosse
The University of Montana Men’s Lacrosse Team is a proud member of the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) and Pacific Northwest Lacrosse League (PNCLL). The Grizzlies won the MCLA Division II National Championship Title in 2007 with multiple players garnering All-Conference and All-American honors. For more Griz Lax – check out our website at: grizlax.com. like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.