Boys lacrosse to face favored Corner Canyon in state final
The championship game will be held at Layton High School at 4:30 p.m. Saturday
Park City High School’s boys lacrosse team is only one win away from capturing the first state championship handed out since the sport became sanctioned by the Utah High School Activities Association — but first it will have to topple a giant.
It’s not very often that a No. 2 seed is David to the No. 1 seed’s Goliath, especially since Park City is the two-time defending state champion, but that’s the situation that the Miners find themselves in heading into Saturday’s title game against 21-0 Corner Canyon at Layton High School at 4:30 p.m. In addition to being the top-ranked team in the state, the Chargers are the No. 8 team in the West, according to USA Lacrosse Magazine.
“I think that, you know, we’re a little nervous and a lot excited,” Park City coach Michael Persky said. “We know that Corner Canyon’s the favorite, we know they’re a good team, but we believe that we’re a different team than we were in the beginning of the season.”
Despite the odds being stacked against them on Saturday, the Miners have had yet another successful campaign.
The boys began their season with a couple of close wins over Lone Peak and Bingham and an 18-12 victory against Bountiful.
But their undefeated start did not survive an early-season matchup with Corner Canyon. The Chargers led 10-5 at halftime and kept their foot on the gas for a decisive 20-10 win that the Miners will hope to avenge Saturday.
The Miners followed that up with a heartbreaking loss against American Fork. After trailing at halftime, Park City tied the game at nine heading into the fourth quarter of play. However, American Fork pulled away late for a 14-12 win, dropping the Miners to 3-2.
From there, though, Park City has been perfect on its way to earning a second shot at the Chargers. The Miners outscored their opponents 236-50 in their last 11 regular-season games, all wins.
“I think both those games were a wakeup call,” Persky said of the early losses. “They reminded us that nobody’s going to give us anything, and that if we want to achieve our objectives, we’ve got to work a little harder and play a little smarter.”
In the first round of the state playoffs, Park City had a rematch against Lone Peak, and the Miners needed overtime to keep their season alive after blowing a 9-4 halftime lead. A game-winning goal in the extra period from senior Connor Monson let Park City escape to the next round.
After decisive wins over Mountain Ridge and Brighton, the Miners have set themselves up for a rematch against Corner Canyon.
The Chargers have the top two scorers in the state in juniors Jon King and Mason Quick, both of whom have scored over 100 goals this season. King has added another 49 assists — the fifth-most in the state — to top the state in points.
Corner Canyon has looked unstoppable this season, and their closest game was a 15-9 win over American Fork. The Chargers have outscored their opponents 395-88, including 10 games where they have scored at least 20 goals.
On the Park City side, the Miners don’t have anyone in the top 10 in goals or points, but they do have the same number of players with at least 25 goals, with six. Monson is the team leader in goals with 53, but senior Tyler Vendetti and sophomore Chase Beyer are right behind him with 49 each.
“In order for us to show that we are the best, we have to beat the best,” Persky said. “Corner Canyon is a well-coached team, they have a prolific offense, they have an All-American goalie. And we’re going to have to play one of our best games to beat them.”
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