PC Junior LAX team wins title | ParkRecord.com

PC Junior LAX team wins title

It was a no-doubter from the very start on Wednesday night at Matt Knoop Memorial Field in Park City.

Playing in the Junior Girls’ State Championship game, the Park City Red squad, made up of seventh and eighth graders, took down Alta/Juan Diego 11-2, scoring early and often en route to a lopsided victory.

Parker Seifert won the first four draws for Park City and the Miners capitalized each time, taking a 4-0 lead. The Miners extended that lead to 5-0 before conceding their first goal.

Park City quickly got that goal back, though, as Corrine Sullivan scored late in the first half to give the Miners a 6-1 advantage at intermission.

Park City Coach Zach Sadoff said controlling draws is vital for the Miners’ success. When the Miners are able to score and then get the ball back, it turns into a two-point swing against the opponent.

"They’re huge," he said. "Obviously, they can’t score if they can’t get the ball. We were able to control the first four and score on all of them."

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Against an Alta/Juan Diego team that knocked the other Park City squad, Park City Black, out of the playoffs, Sadoff said he was surprised the Miners were able to dominate so thoroughly early on.

"As a coach, I never really plan on dominating," he said. "We just want to play our game. I just try to make sure the girls are playing to their potential. If they do that, I don’t think there are any teams in the state that can run with them."

The Miners also scored the first five goals in the second half before Alta/Juan Diego was able to find the back of the net again with just over a minute left to play. By then, it was too little, too late, and the Miners had comfortably clinched a state championship victory.

Lauren Pederson led the Miners with four goals. Shaye Henderson added two goals and an assist. Sullivan had two goals. Tillie Mintz had a goal and an assist. Caitlin Hickey and Jessie O’Neal each scored once and Brynne Hitchcock added an assist for Park City.

Park City showcased both strong team play and some outstanding individual efforts on the 11 goals. Sadoff said with the attacking unit he has, not much coaching has to be done.

"We run our plays and have some sets," he said. "But, for the most part, I just let the girls be athletes. We have a ton of really good athletes. They make my job pretty easy."

Park City goalie Courtney Kaufman wasn’t tested often, but managed to save two of the four shots she faced. The Miners’ defensive unit was stellar, often stopping their opponents before they were allowed to shoot.

"We just communicated and played team defense," Sadoff said. "We prevented them from getting good looks on goal. We protected [Kaufman] like we would protect any of our goalies, but she made saves when she needed to. She’s got a pretty bright future."

With the Park City High School varsity squad winning a second-straight state title this year, Sadoff said the girls are motivated to keep that success going when it’s their turn to play at the high-school level.

"It’s cool because Park City is really building a culture where the girls know what’s expected of them," he said. "That’s the future. More than anything, that’s the easiest thing — having the girls in front of them having success. That motivates them more than me just telling them what to do."