Miners use teamwork to elevate over Alta
On Wednesday afternoon, the Park City girls lacrosse team earned two things a win over powerhouse Alta, 9-8, and the confidence of knowing that this year they could be unstoppable.
After a two-week layoff due to forfeited games, the undefeated Miners were finally back on the field in City Park and ready to face what may have been their toughest match of the season.
"We knew it was a big game," said Miners assistant coach Amy Hafets.
But the Miners were confident from the face-off.
"We knew if we played Park City lacrosse, we could win this game," said Park City head coach Lori Halls.
The win was far from easy, though. In the first half, Alta’s aggressive style and high-powered offense quickly scored goals. A 5-3 halftime lead for the Hawks looked like it could quickly become a rout by the second half. But Alta didn’t realize what kind of team they were dealing with.
Heralded not only for their talent, but also an uncanny sense of team play by their coaches, the Miners were able to draw on those strengths in the second half.
"I think it’s important they can dig deep and turn it around," said Hafets. "They listen to us and really play together as a team."
At the half, Halls reminded the Miners to stay in game mode. She made adjustments on the offensive strategy and switched from zone defense to a man-to-man style.
The Miners responded.
"They totally implemented what we asked them to do," Halls said.
In the second half, the girls came back with a vengeance answering Alta goal-for-goal the entire second half.
Tied at 8-8, with about five minutes left, the Miners, seemingly ignorant of the mounting pressure, easily put a game-winning goal in the net for the 9-8 win.
A win over a difficult team like Alta was important for the Miners as they head toward postseason play next week.
"This is the best team we’ve played to this point," said Hall.
Before the Alta game, the Miners treated their last two opponents to shutouts, so Halls was happy to see the team rise to the challenge.
Halls and Hafets agree that the Miners’ best asset is their teamwork. The girls played effectively on both sides of the ball to deliver the Miners’ win. Carson Chambers led the Miners’ defense with four turnovers and two interceptions, including a crucial one that may have stopped the Hawks from a late-game scoring drive. Ali Tingey also contributed by dominating the midfield, even after bloodying her knuckles on an early-game defensive stand. She also contributed a goal.
Offense had its stars as well. Clara Kilbourn led all Miners by scoring three goals in the game. Hailey Brook was relentless at winning game balls in the midfield and scored two goals. Meredith Burrus, Stef Player and Kate Simonds also scored goals.
The girls were very vocal about supporting one another to score and play well, something that both Park City coaches are very proud of, and they say they hope to see it carry the Miners deep into the playoffs.
"There’s no negative energy," Halls said.
Park City was scheduled to play Juan Diego on Friday at home and the playoffs will begin next week.
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