Before the Park City High School girls' lacrosse team could even blink on Tuesday night at Dozier Field, the Skyline Eagles had a 7-3 lead.
After losing to Skyline in last year's state championship game, it looked like the Eagles might be the one team Park City couldn't beat. After all, the Miners' last non-preseason-tournament loss came in that state title game.
But the Miners weren't going to give up without a fight. Park City got two goals from Haley Adelman, one from Marina Mayo and two from Hannah Hyatt (including a last-second shot) to outscore Skyline 5-1 in the latter part of the first half and tie the game at 8 before entering the break.
In the second half, Adelman and McKenna Tychsen scored quick goals to give Park City a 10-8 lead. Skyline would tie the game again at 10 goals apiece before the Miners finally pulled away en route to a 14-10 victory.
Mayo, Hyatt and Danielle Lecher scored the last four Park City goals to seal the win.
Park City coach Amy Hafets-Cronin noted that Hyatt's two goals with less than a minute remaining in the first half set the tone for the Miners' comeback in the second half.
"That was huge for momentum," she said. "That last play with three seconds left a quick stick into the cage that's what we expect from them and that's what they should expect from themselves. They all know they can play at that level. It's not just playing like that for five minutes a game, though. It's playing like that for 50 minutes, or however long it takes to win."
Despite the slow start, Hafets-Cronin was happy with the way her team bounced back after the halftime break.
"We just had to refocus at halftime and start playing within ourselves really work together and focus," she said. "We needed to stop turning the ball over, picking up fouls and getting out of control."
She pointed to some difficulties on the defensive end as a reason Skyline was able to jump out to such a quick start.
"Honestly, we had a lack of communication on defense," she said.
Offensively, Hafets-Cronin said the Miners just needed to settle down and get into a rhythm.
"I think we were just playing a little sloppy forcing bad passes, taking the wrong shots," she said. "We worked out some things and the girls refocused. It was great to see them be able to come back and use the feedback and reassess what they were doing. We've got to be consistently strong and consistently making the right choices."
With a chance to get back at the Eagles for last year's title game defeat, the Miners were maybe pushing things too hard, too fast, she added.
"It's a big rivalry between us and Skyline," she said. "We're always excited to play them. They're a good team."
Park City (11-0) was scheduled to play its final regular season game against Brighton on Friday (after this issue went to press). The playoffs start next week.
Hafets-Cronin said she expects her team to perform well in the playoffs, but added that there are a few things the girls need to work on.
"Our biggest issue right now is just making sure we have the communication down," she said. "It's just the details finishing our plays, finishing our shots, making the right pass in transition."
Park City High School will host both the boys' and girls' state title games this year. Both championships will be at Dozier Field on Saturday, May 17.