Quarterfinals bring end to Miners’ run
Throughout the season, the Park City Miners girls lacrosse team had remedied their first half mistakes and launched a comeback in the second half to win. Unfortunately, on Monday afternoon quarterfinal game against Murray, the Miners’ second half heroics weren’t enough to overcome an 11-0 first half deficit and the team exited the playoffs losing 15-2.
"It’s tough. Every season ends somehow," said Miners assistant coach Amy Hafets.
In the first half, it wasn’t so much that the Miners couldn’t score as they wouldn’t score. Park City head coach Lori Halls said that the girls were so focused on attacking the Murray Spartans, they played too defensively. Rather than going for the ball themselves, Park City waited for Murray to gain possession and then tried to defend the ball. The strategic mistake proved to be costly, as the Spartans quickly poured in 11 unanswered goals.
Luckily, in true Park City fashion, the girls took their halftime talk to heart and emerged with a new game plan.
"At the half, we told the team that this a whole new half, a whole new game," Hafets said.
In the opening minute of the second half, Clara Jane Kilbourn quickly ran the ball in for the score. Two minutes later, Kate Simonds scored a goal of her own to make the score 11-2.
The Miners also managed to shut down the Spartans machine-like scoring. Murray, known for its height and strong passing technique was able to add three more goals in the second half, but the Miners stepped up their defense, pressuring the Spartans on every possession. The Miners were able to get in front of ball and go stick on stick to cut off the Murray passes. Baylee Fox led Park City, shutting down her attacker in the second half.
"Murray is a strong team. They throw and catch well. To win against a team like that you have to be perfect. Our girls did a good job of putting pressure on them in the second half," Hafets said.
Goalie Alex Brown also played well in the second, sprinting to recover the ball on numerous plays.
This isn’t the first time Park City has lost to the Spartans. In the preseason, they lost to them 7-2, but Halls says that the Miners never let a lopsided score keep them from trying their best.
"They go in and go hard. They really get pumped," Halls said. "They don’t get intimidated and they don’t shut down.
That bodes well for the Miners who went farther in the playoffs than ever before. Park City will only lose one senior to graduation, Kate Simonds, and both coaches agree that the girls have made momumental strides in improving their game in the last year.
"They had a successful season," Hafets said. "There improvement is leaps and bounds from last year."
With the season behind them the Miners will rest in the off-season before returning to the field for fall conditioning. Some of the team will play summer league lacrosse and Halls and Hafets hope to lead a Miners lacrosse camp in the summer.
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