Miners claim state title with dramatic win over Olympus | ParkRecord.com

Miners claim state title with dramatic win over Olympus

Park City scores 2 goals in final minute to stun Titans

Park City’s boys lacrosse team turned to junior Jack McHenry to win a key faceoff in Friday’s state championship game, just as the Miners had done all year long.

McHenry, one of the state’s top faceoff takers, had won several up to that point, but with the score tied 9-9 with just over 30 seconds left in the fourth quarter, winning this faceoff could make the difference between a win, going to overtime or, even worse, losing at the last second.

The junior swiped at the ball, knocked it free, scooped it up and sprinted down the field with the ball. He looked up and found sophomore Brendan Johnson, who fired the ball at the net. Johnson’s shot found the back of the net to give Park City the lead with 31 seconds left, the second of two Park City goals in the final minute of the game. The Miners held off one final Olympus push before the clock expired to knock off the previously undefeated Titans 10-9 and win the Class 5A state championship.

“Definitely going into this game, I knew I was going to do pretty well,” McHenry said. “But having that much of an impact is awesome. … It helps us so much to gain possessions. In games like these, that’s all that matters.”

For Park City, it was a moment of redemption. For one, the Miners fell in their state championship game last year to Corner Canyon. For another, Park City lost to Olympus earlier in the season. But the Miners also found validation.

“Everyone in Utah was saying we never beat a good team,” senior John Trahan said. “We lost to Valor Christian, we lost to Cherry Creek, Corner Canyon, Olympus, American Fork. We needed this. We really needed this. Because if not, a lot of kids were saying our season didn’t mean anything if we didn’t beat a good team. I think not so because we got a lot better this year. But I’m so glad the way this year turned out.”

But for most of the game, Park City played from behind. Park City trailed 2-0 at the end of the first quarter and 5-4 at halftime. The two teams were tied at six goals apiece heading into the final quarter of play but the Miners found themselves down 8-6 with just over five-and-a-half minutes to go.

Trahan scored 45 seconds later to bring Park City within one. The senior attempted a shot, grabbed the rebound and then tucked it into the net for the goal.

Junior Chase Beyer had a pair of clutch goals for the Miners in the fourth quarter as well. He scored to tie the game at 8 and then again at 9 with under a minute left in the game after Olympus responded with a goal of its own. Beyer has been one of Park City’s most valuable players on offense, and he delivered when the Miners needed a goal. He ended the game with five.

“Just playing the game, that was always in my mind,” Beyer said. “Just stepping in, they’re in a zone, so I was just pushing those pockets and taking those shots. And fortunately, I was able to get open and cash in some shots.”

Just seconds after Beyer’s goal, McHenry won that faceoff and had the assist on Johnson’s game-winning goal.

“Jack had an awesome faceoff win, like he usually does,” Johnson said. “He’s a special player. He came down, then my guy just slid. Jack just found me, and I let it rip.”

That wasn’t the only time that McHenry’s faceoff prowess came in handy. In the second quarter, he scored off his own faceoff win when he gathered the ball, ran down the field and scored to turn the game around after Olympus had recorded three unanswered goals in the frame.

Defensively, Park City frustrated Olympus’ attack. No team had limited the Titans to single-digit goals in a game this season, but that’s exactly what the Miners did.

“Today is the first day that I can say with absolute confidence that we played lockdown defense,” Park City coach Michael Persky said. “The defense was awesome against a really powerful Olympus team, and that was a key for us over the course of the season.”

For Park City, it took a special group of players to keep fighting and battle until the very last second. The Miners have grown a lot as a team since the start of the season. After their trip to Colorado to face Cherry Creek and Valor Christian in the beginning of April, their record sat at 3-4. However, they lost just one game the rest of the season, which was against Olympus, and performed like a well-oiled machine down the stretch.

“We just work hard, we’re all out here and the most important thing is we all have a good time,” Beyer said. “Everyone’s out here having a good time. It’s nothing like everyone’s harping on each other. It’s just everyone’s out here for a good time.”

The Miners have no intentions of being one-hit wonders. They’ll return players like McHenry, Johnson, Beyer and more next year. While winning a state championship was the end goal for Park City’s boys lacrosse team, it certainly won’t be the end.

And for seniors like Trahan, they earned a well-deserved ride off into the sunset.

“Honestly, this is exactly how I wanted to go out with this team, I’m so happy,” Trahan said. “Brendan Johnson, Chase Beyer on my attack line, I’ll miss those boys so much (and) all the other guys.

“I’m going to miss these guys so much, and this is exactly what I set out to do when I came here.”


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