The Park City High School girls  lacrosse team poses with its championship trophy after defeating Riverton 11-8 on Saturday afternoon at Dozier Field.
The Park City High School girls lacrosse team poses with its championship trophy after defeating Riverton 11-8 on Saturday afternoon at Dozier Field. Christopher Reeves/Park Record

As the second half of the Division I girls' lacrosse championship wore on at Dozier Field at Park City High School on Saturday afternoon, Park City and Riverton traded goals back and forth, neither team conceding an inch.

Tied at 8 with less than 10 minutes remaining in the game, Park City fans couldn't be blamed if they were bracing themselves for another heartbreaking end to the season.

Two years ago, the Miners squared off against Bingham in the title game, losing 12-11 in double overtime. Last year, Park City and Skyline battled for the championship, with Skyline eventually earning a thrilling 10-9 victory.

This time, however, things would be different for the Miners.

Sophomore Marina Mayo and the rest of the Park City squad quickly put any lingering fears to rest, taking a commanding 11-8 lead with nine minutes left in the second half.

After regaining possession, Park City controlled the ball and the clock, moving around the attacking end with crisp passes and smart plays while keeping Riverton at bay for the final four minutes of the game.

When the clock hit zero, all the pain of years past was forgotten as the Miners flocked to goalkeeper Mireia Calaf, a foreign exchange student from Spain, to begin a long celebration.

Mayo, who led all scorers with five goals and was dominant on the draw all day, said the emotion of the moment was indescribable.

"I was the one holding the ball when the clock hit zero," she said.


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"Knowing that we had possession when it ended and we were up, it was the greatest feeling ever."

She said the countless hours of practice paid off in a big way when the stakes were the highest.

"We've definitely worked on stalling the last couple practices, and on getting the ball back if the score was the other way around," she said. "We knew it would be important in a game like this. I think we held up pretty well."

"It was very fitting," senior co-captain Haley Adelman added.

Danielle Lecher rifles a shot at the Riverton goalkeeper on Saturday afternoon at Dozier Field. Christopher Reeves/Park Record
Danielle Lecher rifles a shot at the Riverton goalkeeper on Saturday afternoon at Dozier Field. Christopher Reeves/Park Record
"That was one of the things we worked on all season - stepping out wide, possessing the ball and not making turnovers. We're glad it all paid off."

Park City coach Amy Hafets-Cronin said lacrosse really is a simple game when you have a lead.

"If we have possession of the ball, the other team doesn't," she said. "We just talked about being patient and managing the game. They did a really nice job of that."

After the game, during the trophy presentation and ensuing celebration, a couple players dumped the remaining ice water from the sideline cooler over their coach. Minutes later, a still-cold Hafets-Cronin still couldn't find the right words to describe what the victory felt like.

"What an incredible feeling," she said. "It really is. It's hard to find the words to express right now just how excited we are. We've been here before and we know that feeling of not seeing it through all the way. This time, the girls, there was no letdown in them. They just kept fighting until the very end of the game."

For Calaf, Adelman and the rest of the graduating class - Danielle Lecher, McKenna Tychsen, Katy Miele and Lily Howell - this year's title game couldn't have come soon enough.

"The last two years were heartbreaking, but we learned from them," Adelman said. "Now we're here and we won. I cannot believe that it actually happened. But we deserve it - we worked our butts off all season for this."

The win was extra sweet for Calaf, who had fans rooting for her halfway across the globe.

Marina Mayo eyes the goal as she races around a Riverton defender on Saturday afternoon at Dozier Field. Mayo led all scorers with five goals for the game.
Marina Mayo eyes the goal as she races around a Riverton defender on Saturday afternoon at Dozier Field. Mayo led all scorers with five goals for the game. Christopher Reeves/Park Record

"[Her family] was watching the live stream from Spain as we were playing," Hafets-Cronin said. "No one in her family knew what lacrosse was - now they do."

Sending Calaf and the seniors away with a title is just what Hafets-Cronin was hoping for after all they've done for the program.

"I'm just so proud of them," she said. "Their leadership is one of the main reasons why we're here. The difference for us this year is the chemistry we've had and the leadership. To win on their home field, it's just incredible."

Park City finished the 2014 season with a perfect 15-0 record.