PCHS girls’ lacrosse honor seniors before win | ParkRecord.com

PCHS girls’ lacrosse honor seniors before win

Matthew Piper, OF THE RECORD STAFF

Getting a jolt of positive vibrations before the start of the state playoffs, the Park City High School girls’ lacrosse team beat powerhouse Murray 9-8 after honoring its seven departing seniors Thursday afternoon on Dozier Field.

"It was a really intense game," said PCHS head coach Amy Hafets. "I’m proud of our girls for playing until the end. They stayed with it."

The Miners faced off against Murray in the state championships two years ago and lost in the semifinals to the Spartans last season, so there was a lot on the line for both teams – which the endless noise from both benches confirmed.

"It was definitely a long time waiting," said Park City senior Traci Shurtleff. "It’s always nice to get back at them."

Following a goal from the Miners’ top rival within minutes of the start, junior Meghan Kellner got PCHS on the board by wrapping around Murray’s net for a goal. The Spartans again answered. Ditto, Park City’s Kellner. And right back for another goal came Murray.

"It went in waves," Hafets said. "There were moments where we were up and we had momentum, and then the ball would get down there (in the Miners’ end). It seemed to happen in the midfield, when our transition would get broken up."

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Senior Traci Shurtleff finally knotted it at 3 apiece for the home team, which apparently decided it was tired of playing from behind when Kellner set up Shurtleff in front for another goal and a 4-3 lead before the half.

The Miners (9-3) opened up the second with a flurry to match the afternoon’s sporadic snow, getting successive scores from junior Katie Baker, Shurtleff, and freshman Madison Hubbard (on an assist from sophomore Sam Meyer) that made it 7-4.

Just like that, however, the Miners’ advantage melted away as Murray sustained an offensive at the Miners’ end, scoring twice to make it 7-5. After a short spell in the rampant action, Meyer set up Kellner for her third goal of the game, and PCHS went back up by three.

The pesky Spartans wouldn’t go softly, striking twice to make it 8-6 and then 8-7 with just less than five minutes left to play.

Kellner scored her fourth on a wraparound shortly after, but Murray responded valiantly as just 47 seconds remained on the game clock.

Senior goalkeeper Dacia Morgan made a huge stop – one of many from point-blank range – with 35 seconds left to preserve the victory for the Miners.

"She’s an amazing goalie," said, who also scored the game-winning goal against Brighton. "She’s really consistent, and she saves the game almost every single time. We really rely on her a lot."

The team honored its seven departing seniors before the game at midfield, giving them flowers while also recognizing their parents’ contributions to the team.

"It means a lot," Kellner said of her last game with the seniors. "This is my third year playing with them. It’s kind of sad to see them go, but it’s a good feeling to see that they’ve all accomplished so much, and to see them all go on to greater things."

Shurtleff, a four-year starter for PCHS, is set to join Morgan for the first year of the University of Utah’s women’s lacrosse program. She was escorted by parents Glen and Kathy Shurtleff, while Morgan was joined by parents Mark and Dana.

"It’s going to be awesome," Shurtleff said. "We’re definitely trying recruit the best players and have the best stuff and the best coaches. We’re trying to go into our first season as a winning team."

Laurel Van’t Hof, daughter of Luke and Michele, will also take her game to the college ranks at Adrian College in Michigan.

Senior captain Madison Bell, who will attend Utah State, was escorted by parents Richard and Jody Bell.

Mary Hardesty was honored with mom Lisa, Melody Roguschka received recognition with dad Martin, and parents Bryce and Laura walked to midfield to receive their flowers with daughter Kylie Johnson.

"It’s been great being a senior," said Morgan, a first-team all-state goalkeeper. "I love helping the younger girls with their skills and teaching the game to others."

The Miners will play either Juan Diego or Bingham in the first round of the state playoffs.