No. 1 Miners boys’ LAX team downs No. 3 Brighton
May 5, 2015
The Park City High School boys’ lacrosse team faced one of its toughest challenges of the season on Friday night at Dozier Field.
The No. 1 Miners hosted No. 3 Brighton in a contest that looked more like a football game at times. The Bengals showed why they’re considered one of the best teams in Utah with a very physical display.
But, at the end of the night, the Miners showed why they have the No. 1 ranking, holding off their opponent for a 13-10 victory to end the regular season.
Park City Coach Andy Langendorf said he knew the game was going to be physical, so the Miners planned accordingly.
"We were well-prepared," he said. "We watched a lot of film this week. They can’t hit you if you move the ball faster than they can run, so that’s kind of what the game plan was."
Though the Miners tried their best to avoid falling into Brighton’s physical style of play, the game still delivered several big hits and many penalties.
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"It still was a super-physical game," Langendorf said. "Brighton is a big, tough team and they tried to intimidate us. That didn’t work tonight."
Freshman Beau Pederson led the way for the Miners, scoring four goals and picking up one assist. Fellow freshman JJ Pickard added two goals. Langendorf said the effort from the two freshmen set the tone for Park City.
"They both stepped up in a big way, and we needed that," he said. "We’ve been talking about how we need guys to step up and Beau Pederson played out of his mind. He was like a senior on the field for us tonight — good composure, good shots, good selection. That’s pretty exciting lacrosse to watch no matter what bench you’re sitting on."
Cole Flinders scored two goals and had an assist, Trent Clifford scored twice, Tucker Mirams had a goal and two assists, Ryan Smith added a goal and an assist and Chad Merrick scored once in the victory.
Face-off specialist Jackson Burton won 18 of 25 face-offs on the night, something Langendorf said is crucial to the Miners’ success.
"It’s the difference," he said. "You’d kill to have a great face-off guy and I’ve got three of them, so that’s great. Jackson is a guy that understands the face-off game. You’re not going to win every draw. When he loses one, it doesn’t get inside his head. He just goes back out and makes an adjustment and will usually get it right back. We’ve got a lot of confidence in him and he’s earned that over the years."
Though goalie Ian Sime had a good game for the Miners, making 11 saves, Langendorf said the defensive unit needs to play better during the playoffs.
"Our defensive coach wasn’t very happy with some of the things that were going on with that side of the ball tonight," he said. "But you can’t deny that Brighton is a high-powered team. They played Corner Canyon [the No. 2 team in the state] not too long ago and lost by one. They’re a tough team and we did really well against them. I don’t think it’s as bad as we thought defensively, but we’ll see it on film and we’ll pick it apart."
Defeating Brighton was a big moment for Park City. The Miners hadn’t beaten the Bengals since 2005. The win also improved Park City’s in-state record to 12-0, the first time in school history the Miners have finished with an unblemished in-state record.
While those accomplishments are nice, the Miners have their sights set on a bigger prize — a second-straight state championship. Langendorf said earning the top seed in the tournament is a big step in the right direction.
"In the playoffs, we always make some adjustments depending on who we’re going to play," he said. "We’re in good shape right now. We’re the No. 1 seed, which means both Brighton and Corner Canyon are going to be on the other side of the bracket. We’re going to have a real opportunity to hone in on what we’ve done well. Everybody we’re going to see, we’ve already played once, so that’ll help us a lot as well."
Park City (18-1 overall) will host Jordan on Wednesday night at Dozier Field. The game is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m.
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