Miners’ girls bow out in semis
As the boys move on to their first-ever state final, the Park City High School girls’ lacrosse team was again in the hunt for a championship until bowing out to Alta in Tuesday’s Division I semifinal at Juan Diego Stadium, 17-2.
"We had a wonderful season," said head coach Amy Hafets. "We have a lot to celebrate, and a lot to be excited about."
PCHS (10-4) was also bounced in the semifinals last year, and the Miners lost in the second overtime of the state championship in 2008. After beating Bingham 11-10 in the quarters and riding a wave of confidence, it was hard for the team’s seven seniors to stomach an early end to the postseason.
"It’s a tough way to end your season so abruptly," Hafets said. "The girls were very excited to play, very positive. We had great practices and a great game plan coming in.
"Alta is a phenomenal team. They played a great game. But it’s frustrating to know we could’ve been a contender."
Hafets said her team was playing well through the first couple of draws, but it wasn’t long before turnovers on attack and in midfield led to a bushel of scoring opportunities at the Miners’ end.
Without a goal and with just six minutes left in the second half, Hafets called timeout and refocused her team for a final, proud charge.
"It was kind of amazing," she said. "They dominated the last six minutes. We scored both of our goals and dominated the draw control."
Hafets said senior goalkeeper Dacia Morgan kept her poise under duress in the PCHS cage, while senior Maddie Bell was "everywhere."
The team will host one final banquet on Tuesday, May 18, to bid the seniors adieu and recognize some of the hardware they picked up in their final year in red and white.
Among the recognitions given to the Miners were first-team all-state awards for seniors Traci Shurtleff (midfield) and Dacia Morgan (goalie), second-team all-state for sophomore defender Katie Coleman, and a second consecutive U.S. Lacrosse All-American award for Shurtleff.
"That’s a pretty high honor," said Hafets of the All-American nod, for which only four Utah players are selected. Shurtleff will play next season in the inaugural campaign for the University of Utah girls’ team, where she will be joined by Morgan (Traci’s parents, Glen and Kathy Shurtleff, helped organize the new program).
"It’s exciting to have another program start up at the next level," Hafets said. "That’s more inspiration for our kids to stick with it."
Without Shurtleff and Morgan, PCHS will be looking to fill a leadership void in its bid to return to the postseason.
"You lose all this great leadership, and it leaves a hole to fill," Hafets said. On the bright side, she’ll inherit talent from a JV team that was undefeated this season. What’s more, Hafets said, they already have a winner’s mentality.
"One of the greatest things about all the girls is their desire and competitive spirit," she said. "That’s an innate quality."
Also worthy of praise in 2010, said Hafets, was defensive wing Sam Meyer, who scored instrumental goals against Bingham and Murray and "never had a letdown."
Junior Katie Baker was "a strong leader on the field," Hafets said, and junior Meghan Kellner was a force to be reckoned with at the attacking end.
"We’re definitely looking for them to step up next year," Hafets said. "We’re very excited as a program that every year, we’re making it to the playoffs. But we want to keep pushing that level."
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