Lacrosse team ousted in first round
After drawing first blood in the most important game of the season, the Park City boys’ lacrosse team had sky-high hopes.
But what continually plagued this year’s squad turnovers and poor stickwork quickly came back to haunt the Miners as the top-seeded Juan Diego Soaring Eagle bounced Park City 11-3 in the first round of the state playoffs Wednesday afternoon in Draper.
"It’s real disappointing," said head coach Rich Levi. "We felt like we were in a pretty good position as an underdog coming on late in the season. We had a good week of practice leading up to it (but) we made mistakes with the ball, made mental mistakes."
Senior Griffin Perkiel finished his stellar high school career with one of Park City’s three goals. Juniors Jake Gutman and Adam Klawe rounded out the scoring for the Miners.
The Soaring Eagle was on its heels for the first few minutes of the game as Park City looked poised to hang with one of the state’s top teams, but in the end, it wasn’t in the cards.
"They took advantage and took the lead 2-1," Levi said. "From there, it was like all the air was let out of our balloon."
Levi said that his team needed to play a near-flawless game to stay with Juan Diego but the Miners just couldn’t keep things very clean.
"Our biggest thing all year: our stickwork mistakes against a good team," he said. "You can’t make them up. When you’re making stickwork mistakes, you’re not being very efficient."
Levi said the hardest part of the game was seeing his senior class bow out earlier than he would have liked.
"We feel terrible and frustrated and feel worst for our seniors," he said. "They deserved better than to finish the year like that. It’s just kind of the thing with sports. Sometimes it comes back your way and sometimes it doesn’t."
While Levi has been with the program for some time, this was his first year as head coach. It had its perks, but the bad taste of a first-round elimination will most likely be there for a while.
"When I took this on, the whole coaching staff took this on; we really made the commitment," he said. "We felt, from the beginning, we had the talent to make this run kind of deep into the playoffs. We stuck with that; that’s kind of the pressure we put on our guys."
Along with Perkiel, seniors Tyler Gaebe, Mark West, Joe Sisk, Alex Falten, Zev Dekoff, Parker DeGray and Connor Bevins wave goodbye to the program.
"Next year’s team is a new group," Levi said. "New leaders for the team. We do have a solid group coming back."
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