Park City passes Brighton test with flying colors
Miners smother Bengals’ offense in 16-2 win
One look at the 16-2 score lit up on the scoreboard at Dozier Field would indicate that it was another solid night at the office for Park City High School’s girls lacrosse team’s offense. After all, the Miners are scoring about 18 goals per game after another win on Tuesday.
But the Brighton game was also an important game for Park City’s defense. Brighton came out of the gates wanting to possess the ball and keep the ball away from the Miners’ vaunted attack. However, the Miners’ defense didn’t give the Bengals much to work with, and it wasn’t long until Park City built itself a 5-0 lead in the first half. The Miners shut out Brighton in the second half en route to a 16-2 win.
“I think that game was really good for our defense,” junior Phebe Marsland said. “I play primarily defense, and sometimes, we have struggles because we do play a zone. It’s a very team-oriented defense, so that game went really well. We were all there for each other and helped stop a lot of goals.”
Park City’s defense has benefitted from facing the Miners’ dominant offense in practice and vice-versa. The Miners have allowed just 35 goals in 12 games this season after the Brighton game, and facing that quality of competition in practice has only made them better.
“We’re playing against the best offense against the state,” Marsland said. “We can’t practice against any harder (team), so that just prepares us for our hard games so we know what we need to do.”
Park City coach Mikki Clayton was impressed with her team’s effort on the defensive end as well.
“They just played really well as a whole unit,” she said. “Sometimes, defense can get kind of individualized, and when that happens, that’s when defense breaks down. And they just played really well together. They were sliding for each other, they were crashing when they needed to be, they were helping each other out. So, it was all the things that, as a coach, you want to see on defense.”
On the offensive side of the equation, Park City overwhelmed Brighton. Junior Lilly Hunt led the Miners with five goals, and freshman Rogan Crawford recorded a hat trick. Park City scored nine goals in the first half and then another seven in the second. The Miners had nine different goal scorers against the Bengals.
Along with last week’s win over Olympus, Tuesday’s game served as another important test for the Miners ahead of the state playoffs, which begin on May 17. Brighton had just two losses on the season heading into its clash with Park City, and it helps to have that kind of dominating performance against a quality opponent.
“Every game is important,” Clayton said. “No matter who we’re playing or what the score is, we want to get better. We want to make sure we’re improving as a team, so that as we get to state playoffs, we’re ready. The girls tried lots of different things, and they were working out today.”
Senior Sam Riely, who had two goals and an assist on Tuesday, made it clear what the team’s message is heading into the postseason.
“Honestly, we just want to work hard,” Riely said. “Work harder than the other team, want it more, and we want to win.”
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Park City’s dominant girls lacrosse team has been bolstered by the emergence of its freshmen and sophomores.