Former Miner Hyatt plays in National Championship
Hyatt and Boston College nearly completed Cinderella run
June 2, 2017
Hannah Hyatt's mother, Margaret, recalls going to the 2015 NCAA Division-1 Women's Lacrosse National Championship in Pennsylvania when her daughter was a senior lacrosse player at Park City High School.
The two were watching Maryland and North Carolina duke it out for the national title when Hannah turned to her mother and said, "I can't wait to defend against her." The "her" in the scenario was Taylor Cummings, a three-time Tewaaraton winner (highest individual honor in college lacrosse) from Maryland.
Fast forward two years, Hannah is now a sophomore defender at Boston College. And instead of watching the National Championship from the stands, she was playing on the turf at Gillette Stadium, the home of the New England Patriots, in the NCAA game on Sunday afternoon when the Eagles took on Maryland.
"Watching Hannah on this gigantic stage was simply amazing," Margaret said. "I never imagined any of this in my wildest dreams for her, but at the same time, I didn't think it was impossible."
Hannah didn't get her chance to defend Cummings, who graduated in 2016. She did, however, hold Cummings' teammate Zoe Stuckenberg, the 2017 Tewaaraton winner, to zero goals on the biggest of stages. Maryland would get the last laugh, claiming the title 16-13, but like Hannah, the Eagles overachieved.
No one truly expected Boston College to seriously threaten for the NCAA title, despite breaking program records this season. The Eagles went into the NCAA Tournament on a loss in the ACC Championship to North Carolina, and in addition to the already previously-mentioned schools, there were a number of other teams that were viewed as championship contenders.
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But that didn't stop Hannah and the Eagles, who defeated two top-10 teams in Syracuse and the University of Southern California on their way to the championship game. And though they lost the championship, Maryland completed an undefeated season when it topped Boston College on Sunday. To take Maryland to the brink was almost a win in itself for Boston College.
"It was very surreal," Hannah said of the tournament run. "I still don't think it's hit anyone on our team yet. You could just tell that we were enjoying every single moment and taking it all in. …I think we really gave Maryland a run for their money."
Though Hannah, admittedly a mountain girl turning into a city girl, has found a second home on Boston College's campus, the sophomore won't forget the Park City program that helped shape her into the player and person she is today.
"[The Park City] coaches, they always pushed us to get better, and the girls on the team were always competitive," Hannah said. "We were always learning from each other. It's really a great way to set up a program. I think Park City definitely has that type of environment."
Hannah appreciates her Park City coaches and teammates, so much that she keeps in touch with many of them. In fact, before Hannah competed in the National Championship last Sunday, she made sure to reach out to her coaches — current coach Kassandra Lemons and former coaches Abbie Coleman, Amy Hafets and Molly Jones — to let them know she wouldn't have reached this point without their help.
"I actually sent messages to them on game day, saying, 'It's all you guys. You helped so much,'" Hannah said. "They're there to not only support you, but to push you to keep going harder and harder."
In turn, Lemons and the current Miners supported Hannah when they were in Massachusetts for the big day.
The group — which consisted of Morgan Lukrich, Gabby Nixon, Shaye Henderson, Lauren Pederson, Livia Kimche, Lois Garlow and Courtney Kaufman — was there to play in the U17 U.S. Lacrosse Women’s National Tournament. Since they were in the area, they couldn't pass up the opportunity to watch a former Miner play on the biggest of stages.
"It was amazing to have them there," Hannah said. "I loved that they were there to support. It's really nice to see that they enjoyed coming out and were able to watch us play."
There's a slew of people who have supported and are proud of Hannah from the Park City area, but none more than her mother.
Margaret said this won't be the last time one hears of Hannah and the Eagles.
"Her dad and I were very proud, to say the least," she said. "But equally as a proud a moment was after the loss when Hannah and her teammates were disappointed for sure, but they held their head high. Some gently waved or sent a nod to their parents, and then they grabbed their things and proudly headed off the field to let their opponent own the stage, knowing they would be back strong as ever next year."
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