PCHS boys’ LAX falls short in title game
May 19, 2015
During the regular season, the Park City High School boys’ lacrosse team won a dramatic game against Corner Canyon 7-6 at Dozier Field. With that tight result, the two teams seemed destined to meet again in the state title match.
That’s exactly what happened on Saturday night, this time with Corner Canyon playing host.
In a back-and-forth affair, Corner Canyon quickly went up 2-0. Park City then came charging back, taking a 3-2 lead at the end of the first quarter. By halftime, Corner Canyon held a 6-4 lead.
At the end of the third quarter, Park City had battled back and trailed 7-6. Corner Canyon then took an 8-6 lead with 3:29 remaining in the game. The Miners quickly cut that lead to 8-7 before the Chargers scored what would prove to be the deciding goal and took a 9-7 lead. Park City scored a desperation goal with mere seconds left, but didn’t have enough time to score again, losing 9-8 in heartbreaking fashion.
Though it was a tough way for the Miners’ season to end, Park City Coach Andy Langendorf said his team has no reason to be disappointed.
"There’s not much to say," he said. "We said it at the beginning of the season and we said it all along that you put your best out there and you get what you get. Tonight, we played well. At times, we played better than Corner Canyon and at times, they played better than us. They came out on top by one, but we were in the thick of it the whole time. I don’t think you could ask for a better state championship game."
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The Corner Canyon goalie had several clutch saves on Saturday night, frustrating a powerful Park City attack time and time again. Langendorf said Corner Canyon put forth one of the best defensive efforts the Miners have seen.
"He’s a great goaltender," he said. "We had a little trouble controlling our shots tonight and had some issues with the rain, but he played a great game. They’ve also got some really, really strong defenders on their team. We weren’t able to get a lot of the quality shots we were looking for."
Chad Merrick, Kolton Atkinson and JJ Pickard each had two goals to lead the way for Park City. Chase Christensen, returning from an injury suffered in the regular-season finale, scored once. The other goal was credited as an own-goal to a Corner Canyon player.
Cole Flinders led the Miners with two assists, while Beau Pederson, Tucker Mirams and Atkinson each had one. Face-off specialist Jackson Burton won a whopping 20 of 21 face-offs.
Though the loss stings for Park City’s large group of seniors, Langendorf said the Miners left everything on the field and that’s all he and the coaching staff could possibly ask for.
"They played a heck of a game," he said. "I don’t feel bad about it at all. I would have rather won, but at the end of the day, it’s not like we came apart. We played a good game and they played a great game and they’re on top this time."
Adding in Park City’s 7-6 victory earlier this season, the two teams have each scored 15 goals against each other. Though the Miners would love to have another chance and settle the season series once and for all, Langendorf knows it doesn’t work that way.
"This is the one that counts," he said. "We’ll just have to live with that. I can’t say enough about [the Corner Canyon] program. They work hard, just like we do. Someone was going to have to lose today and it was going to be a shame. Today, we lost and we’re just going to have to live with that."
Langendorf said he’s going to miss having this year’s group of seniors around. He said he particularly liked the way the seniors made even the youngest players on the team feel important.
"We had a good team, a great team," he said. "It wasn’t necessarily the scoreboard that made it a great season for me. It was the fact that our team had a lot of fun together — from the seniors all the way down to the freshmen — we were a cohesive team and had fun and had a lot of good laughs. They’re a good group and a humble group and that’s what made it a lot of fun."
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