After a disappointing 14-10 loss to Herriman at Dozier Field last week, the Park City High School boys' lacrosse team has been steadily improving.
The Miners followed up last Thursday's loss with a 12-3 win against Centennial (Idaho) on Friday and a 9-3 victory against Waterford on Monday.
But neither of those victories were as impressive as the trouncing Park City handed to Judge Memorial at Dozier Field on Wednesday night. The Miners took a 10-1 lead into halftime and cruised to an easy 14-1 victory over their rivals.
The offense got off to a slow start, scoring only twice in the first quarter on goals by Cole Flinders and Kolton Atkinson, but Park City goalie Sheridan Buchholz stymied the Bulldogs' offense, holding them scoreless through the first 10 minutes.
In the second quarter, the floodgates opened for the Miners. Tucker Mirams, Atkinson and Chase Christensen all scored goals to put Park City up 5-0 before Judge would score its first and only goal of the game.
Jackson Burton (who was also dominant on faceoffs all night), Chad Merrick and Christian Pompoco all scored a goal and Carson Dutkanych added two goals before the quarter was over to put Park City up 10-1.
In the second half, the Miners focused on possessing the ball and relying on stingy defense to run out the clock. Pompoco scored in the third, and Atkinson added two goals in the period. The Miners only got one goal in the fourth quarter, on a shot from Trent Clifford.
After amassing only eight shots on frame in the loss to Herriman, Park City coach Andy Langendorf was much happier with his team's effort on Wednesday night.
"We worked on a lot of things," he said. "Like I said last time, it's not Xs and Os, it's desire and just working hard. We possessed the ball today, which was the difference. We didn't have to play defense for long periods of time, so it worked out well."
Dutkanych, a senior attacker, said Wednesday was one of the best all-around performances he's seen from his team.
"I'm just excited," he said. "I'm happy with the way we played our defense held it down, our goalie Sheridan stepped it up a lot, our offense held the ball and did everything right. We didn't really make any mistakes it was a complete team effort."
Langendorf was glad to see his defense not under siege for once.
"It's a good thing for us to have a game like tonight," he said. "Judge is a good team, so when we did play defense, we had to work hard. I think our guys could use the break, though we've played so much defense this year."
Wednesday night was also Senior Night for Park City, when the team's 11 graduating seniors Dutkanych, Pompoco, Colton Kissell, Noah Pranschke, Gavin Faulk, Daniel Blake Smith, Calvin Webster, Lukas Robertson, Derek Fox, Omar Huerta and Mickey Moran were honored. Langendorf said senior nights are bittersweet for him.
"It's always mixed emotions," he said. "I've spent four years with these guys and tons of hours. I'm always happy to see the seniors be successful and move on with their lives and go play lacrosse somewhere else. But it's always hard to say goodbye to them. They become friends and we've watched them grow up."
Though Senior Night is over, the Miners still have two games left on their home schedule. They were scheduled to play Jordan on Friday night at Quinn's Junction and they'll square off against Riverton on Monday evening, also at Quinn's.
Langendorf said his squad would focus on improving upon Wednesday's effort.
"We're going to keep on top of exactly what we did tonight," he said. "We're going to possess the ball because we'll need that in the playoffs. We'll keep polishing our systems. From here on out, we're not going to make a lot of changes we're going to keep working on what we've got and move on from there."
With the state title game slated for Dozier Field on May 17, Dutkanych, who also had his football Senior Night at Dozier during the fall, said he's not quite ready to be done playing on his home field.
"I think we can just improve off tonight," he said. "We can never play a good enough game we can always do better. We'll fix little mistakes and keep our confidence up. Then, maybe, we can take state, come back to Dozier and play one more time."