Miners girls lacrosse defeats American Fork, keeps No. 1 position
The Park City girls lacrosse team hosted its home opener on Wednesday, and it was a big one. The Miners handed the American Fork Lady Cavemen their first defeat, 10-7.
The Lady Cavemen came to Dozier Field on a tear, having racked up some conspicuous results in defeating Bingham 14-6, Copper Hills 19-2, Lone Peak 17-7, Weber 19-1 and Wasatch, 21-2.
The Miners were also rolling, though perhaps not in such high style, partly because of a tougher early-season schedule. In their games so far (all away) Park City had beaten Brighton 14-0, Corner Canyon 11-3, Herriman 12-8 and Bingham 13-5.
On Wednesday, the Miners kept the game just out of reach of the Lady Cavemen, staying on the winning side of the match from the first whistle to the last.
From the get-go, the Miners were in control.
It was barely a minute into the game before senior Shaye Henderson scored unassisted for the Miners, cutting across the 12-meter arc in front of goal and doling out a shot that bounced and sprung up into the top of the net.
Three minutes later, junior Lauren Pederson scored again for the Miners, this time from a free position opportunity.
Eight minutes into the game, the Lady Cavemen scored. Pederson was sent off with a yellow card for persistent fouling during a streak of Lady Cavemen free position shots. Afterward, American Fork’s senior attackman Mallorie Van Woerkom scored from another free position.
Just over four minutes after that, the Miners scored again. This time, sophomore Kendall Keblish pushed inside the Lady Cavemen’s defense and scored unassisted.
Another four minutes went by before Pederson scored again, dishing a high-to-low shot that proved too hot for Lady Cavemen senior keeper Sierra Savage to handle, making it 4-1, Miners.
The Lady Cavemen cut that lead down again with back-to-back goals one from open play and one from a free position.
The Miners answered as time ran down, first with a free position shot from Henderson with 2:30 left in the half, then a shot from senior Parker Seifert with just 51 seconds left.
At halftime, the Miners led 6-3.
The back-and-forth scoring continued in the second half, with both teams notching four goals before the final buzzer.
The Lady Cavemen responded to the Miners’ strong opening by scoring from a free position with 22 minutes left in the game.
Pederson scored two minutes later from open play to give the Miners an 8-4 lead.
After a series of free position opportunities, Van Woerken scored again for the Lady Cavemen, with 17 minutes left in the game. Miners 8, Lady Cavemen 5.
The Lady Cavemen then strung together a nice possession that culminated in a back and forth in front of the Miners’ net, and finally a shot slipped past Miners senior goalkeeper Courtney Kaufman.
Miners head coach Zach Sadoff called a timeout with 14 minutes left in the game.
“They just needed a reminder of the fragility of the situation,” he said of the pep-talk. “That if you fall asleep for a certain period of time, things can go the other way.”
Pederson came out swinging for the Miners, scoring twice in four minutes.
The Lady Cavemen notched their last goal with eight minutes left in the game. There were a handful of promising attempts on goal, especially from the Miners, but in the end, the home team trotted out the last two minutes in a game of keepaway.
Pederson, who finished the game with six goals, described it as “A great team W.”
“We were all hustling,” she said.
Kaufman, who finished the game with eight saves, said it was a good game for the Miners, even if there were some takeaways to work on before the next game.
“I think it was a little closer than we would have liked, but in the end we all came together and brought a little bit of fire,” she said. “And I think bringing that out of the gate next time, it will work out better.”
The Miners have six games left in the regular season starting with a game against Olympus at Dozier on Tuesday at 6:15 p.m.
Though the Miners stand at the top of the standings, their regular season is by no means shored up.
Three of the games could be challenging, with Viewmont, Lone Peak and Waterford all ranked in the top 10 of the 33-team league. American Fork is now ranked No. 5, while the Miners remain in their top spot. Waterford in No. 2.
“We don’t like to lose,” Sadoff said of the team. “We had our two losses in California and we’d like that to be it for us. That’s the goal. They recognize that, and first home game they recognized the stage they were on and said lets finish this out together.”
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Dave Hanscom announced last month he was retiring as volunteer race director of the Wasatch Citizens Series after 30 years in the position.