A muddy end to Miner’s regular season | ParkRecord.com

A muddy end to Miner’s regular season

Adia Waldburger, of the Record staff

Meredith Burrus runs through two Juan Diego defenders at Friday's game.

Through a mire of water and mud, the Park City girls lacrosse team somehow managed to slosh its way to a victory 7-5 over the Juan Diego Soaring Eagle.

In a game that started with a light rainfall and ended in what Miners head coach Lori Halls described as a "dark and rainy mess," the girls were tested in both stamina and focus and managed to end the regular season with a win.

"The girls played very well considering the conditions, they stayed mentally tough," said Miners assistant coach Amy Hafets.

The game started evenly, with both teams answering goal for goal until they were locked 3-3 at halftime.

In the second half, the girls were faced with a wet and slippery field that would demand total concentration to continue to score.

The Miners were up to the challenge.

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Despite numerous falls and sticks so wet that the girls could barely keep their grip, Park City continued to steadily score and play strong defense. The Miners became determined to win ground balls in the second half, dominating offensive possessions.

After the 10-minute mark, Juan Diego failed to score again, and the offense, led by Ali Tingey with the last three goals, surged ahead scoring multiple times to claim the 7-5 win.

Park City also became hard-nosed on defense. Working in pairs, every time Juan Diego took control of the ball, two Park City players would double-team the opponent until they forced a turnover. Hafets also noted that their quickness off of the line and collapsing on the ball was key in shutting down the Soaring Eagle in the final minutes if the game.

"They gave it 100 percent in effort and heart," said Hafets.

Net-minder Alexis Brown also played well, recording four saves on the nine shots on goal.

"She had some really good saves," said Halls.

"Good" meaning critical. Brown saved all of Juan Diego’s eight-meter penalty shots, besides the Soaring Eagle’s other tries for goals.

Scoring was led by Ali Tingey who contributed five of the seven total goals, included the last three winning shots. Hafets said Tingey had an incredible game, often grabbing the ball at one end of the field and running all the way to goal. Stefani Player and Nancy Simonds also scored one goal apiece.

A gritty win against a tough team was important for the Miners who are heading to the Utah High School Lacrosse League state playoffs this week. With a string of wins against the top-rated teams in their division, Hafets says the girls are n the right mindset to face some of the best competition in the state.

"The two games we had played before playoffs gave us confidence and the stronger competition shows us what we need to work on," Hafets said.

Both coaches agree that Park City has set itself apart throughout the regular season by simply wanting to win more than its opponents.

"It’s desire from the inside," Hafets said.

Undefeated in regular season play, the Miners have been tied or down in a few games and their will to win has carried them to victory every time.

"They know how to pull it together for the playoffs. They’re not going to lose focus, because they know how to play well. They just really want it," said Halls.

Following a first round bye on Tuesday, the Miners will face Skyline or Juan Diego in the next round on Thursday, May 11 at 5 p.m. at the North 40 Field.