PCHS girls’ LAX holds off American Fork | ParkRecord.com

PCHS girls’ LAX holds off American Fork

This year’s playoffs haven’t been easy for the Park City High School girls’ lacrosse team.

After cruising through the regular season with a perfect 12-0 record and never allowing more than six goals, the Miners have faced a tough road in the playoffs.

In a quarterfinal game last week, the Miners struggled through the first half against Juan Diego before rallying in the second to pick up a big 16-7 victory. On Wednesday evening at Corner Canyon High School, the Miners again found themselves in a first-half battle, this time in the semifinals, taking a one-goal lead into intermission against American Fork thanks to a buzzer-beating goal by Jeni Gordon.

The score remained tight after halftime, until Park City was able to take a 9-7 lead and extend the lead to 12-8 when the final whistle sounded.

Hannah Hyatt and Marina Mayo led the way for the Miners, scoring three goals apiece. Ellie Meyer and Ellie Faulk each added two and Gordon and Maike Wells each had one. Sophie Adelman, Gordon, Mayo and Wells all had one assist in the win.

Though earning the victory was difficult, Park City Coach Abbie Coleman was proud of the Miners for persevering and said the challenge will only help the Miners in Saturday’s state title game.

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"Having a good challenge is awesome," she said. "That’s what we want going into the finals. The biggest thing is realizing that, even though we’ve been down against a couple teams, we realize we still can play our game and come back from being down."

When the Miners were struggling early in Wednesday’s game, Coleman said the girls weren’t executing the offense in the way they’re capable of executing it.

"We really just weren’t playing our game," she said. "We were doing a lot more 1v1 challenges instead of playing settled attack and running through our plays."

In the tense environment of the playoff semifinals, the Miners may have been pressing and trying to do too much early on.

"The nerves of the semifinals kind of got to them," Coleman said. "But the last 10 minutes or so, we did start playing our game. Most of the goals we scored then were off of plays and settled attacks. Once they took a deep breath, they realized, ‘Oh, this works.’"

American Fork had a good plan for attacking the Park City defense, Coleman said. But, as the game wore on, the Miners made the adjustment and kept their opponents from getting easy shots on the net.

"American Fork was doing a great job of driving our defender up the eight-meter and then pulling in on the inside," she said. "On that, we don’t have the help [defender] or the slide. They really took advantage of that. Eventually, our defenders caught on to that and positioned themselves a little bit differently to force them inside where the help is."

In a tight game, draw control is always important. Park City controlled nearly all of the important draws in the second half, something Coleman said definitely helped the Miners preserve their lead.

"That was what set the game today — draw controls and taking care of the ball," she said. "When we did have possession on attack, we were making every shot count. Every opportunity was important and we weren’t just shooting to shoot."

Moving into Saturday’s title game against Brighton, in which Park City will try to defend the championship it won last season, Coleman said the Miners will try to enter the game relaxed and fresh.

"Honestly, right now, we’re not doing much coaching," she said. "We spent the season teaching the girls the plays and teaching them defensive strategy. They know what to do. These practices are more like walkthroughs, letting their legs recover a little bit. We’re not teaching them anything new."

Saturday’s state championship game against Brighton is scheduled to start at 12 p.m. at Corner Canyon High School.

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