PCHS boys’ LAX advances to semis
May 12, 2015
Thursday and Friday were exciting days for the Round Valley area.
On Thursday, a bear was spotted wandering around between Park Meadows and Round Valley and was still at-large as of Friday. On Friday, a freak hail/snow/lightning storm threatened to cancel the Park City High School boys’ lacrosse team’s quarterfinal playoff game against Spanish Fork, when it left the Quinn’s Junction turf fields covered in a layer of wintry precipitation.
But neither the threat of bear attack nor the unfavorable conditions could hold back the Miners, who continued their strong play in a 13-4 victory that allowed them to advance to the semifinals.
JJ Pickard led the way for the Miners, scoring three goals in the win. Beau Pederson had two goals and two assists, Cole Flinders scored twice and had one assist and Kolton Atkinson added a goal and an assist. Chad Merrick scored two goals and Jackson Burton, Ryan Smith and Trent Clifford each added one.
Park City Coach Andy Langendorf was concerned about how the weather might affect the Miners, but said his worries were laid to rest early in the game.
"I hate these erratic conditions," he said. "We’re a ball-movement team, so when it hails and snows and does weird things on us, I always worry about that. The players seem less concerned than I am, but I worry about it."
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Langendorf said he was proud of the work the Miners put in before the quarterfinal game. He said it’s important that Park City takes every game seriously and makes sure it is fully prepared for every opponent.
"We didn’t really know what to expect — they were a bit of an unknown," he said. "We hadn’t seen them in a couple years. We were a little bit apprehensive coming in, but the coaching staff worked really hard to get the boys ready and we’re excited to get to the semifinals next week. It’s one step closer to the final goal, which is the state championship."
Langendorf is confident the Miners will put in the work necessary to be ready for their state semifinal game against Skyline on Wednesday night. He said there is still room for improvement, even after two lopsided victories to start the playoffs.
"We keep making small adjustments," he said. "We’re a pretty critical bunch as a coaching staff and we have an expression — never settle. We’re going to continue to work and look at film. It doesn’t matter how much we won by, we’re going to try to continue to progress between now and the semis and then progress from there to the state championship game."
One thing in particular Langendorf wants to address is the Park City penalty-killing unit.
"We’re going to look at our man-down [situations]," he said. "For some reason, we seem to be rotating slowly, so we want to clean that up. We had some goals scored on the crease on us tonight and that’s not going to fly in big games. We’ll watch that pretty closely and make some adjustments."
When Park City traveled to Skyline earlier this season, the Miners cruised to a 16-3 victory. Though that result gives the Miners confidence, Langendorf said it’s important not to assume the same result Wednesday night. But, he added, this year’s team isn’t taking anything for granted.
"I think this state championship means a lot," he said. "We have a big senior crew and they want to finish out on a good note. More importantly, I think this team is a humble team. We’re not running around pounding our chests — we’re going to earn what we get. It’d be a big honor for us to win state again. The kids are excited and they’re also thankful to be where they’re at right now."
Park City’s semifinal matchup against Skyline is scheduled for Wednesday night at Judge Memorial High School. The game is set to begin at 7 p.m. Should the Miners win, the state championship game is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 16, at Corner Canyon High School in Draper.
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