PCHS girls’ LAX completes title three-peat
On March 25, the Park City High School girls’ lacrosse team suffered its first loss against a Utah opponent in two years when the Miners fell to American Fork 8-7 at the Quinn’s Junction fields.
On Saturday, the two teams met again in the state championship game. This time, the Miners were determined to avoid a letdown.
That’s exactly what they did, racing out to a 10-3 halftime lead and cruising to a 16-7 victory to earn a third-straight state title. Park City Coach Kassandra Lemons said the Miners were successful because they stayed calm and executed what they planned in practice.
"We just stuck to the game plan," she said. "The girls had a little bit of vengeance on their minds to stick it to [American Fork]. To come out steamrolling from the start was great."
But, Lemons added, the party didn’t start until much later in the game. She said Park City knows how quickly things can change.
"We knew anything could happen — we had another 30 minutes to play [after taking a halftime lead]," she said. "We had that 0-0 mentality the whole time. I know the score seemed like it was different, but it was only within the last minute that we were like, ‘We did it!’"
Senior Marina Mayo led the way for the Miners with seven goals. Jeni Gordon, Ellie Faulk, Brianna Baumann, Lois Garlow and Shaye Henderson combined to account for Park City’s other nine goals.
Though Mayo had an outstanding performance, Lemons said the victory was truly a team effort.
"She had seven goals that game, but it was all through teammates creating lanes for her and getting her the ball," she said. "Mayo and the rest of the team walked in very, very relaxed. We kept reiterating that the game was the same game we play every week and it was awesome to see them perform."
The Miners’ other senior, defender Olivia Andreini, had a great game, too, Lemons said.
"Mayo’s always had the limelight because she’s putting shots in the back of the net, but Olivia Andreini really anchors our defense," she said. "Our defense was lights out. American Fork couldn’t get any shots off and that wasn’t the case the first time we played them. A lot of people say defense wins championships and that’s definitely true."
In the midfield, Lemons highlighted the play of Garlow and Baumann.
"Baumann really read the field well and so did Lois," she said. "They kept the tempo calm and relaxed."
In goal was freshman keeper Courtney Kaufman, who Lemons said played a big role in the Miners’ win.
"That is the hardest position in the game of lacrosse," she said. "Mentally, it’s really tough. She stepped up and had some big saves and got the ball out of our defensive zone quickly. It was awesome to see a freshman step up and it’s going to give her a lot of confidence going forward."
After losing so many seniors from last year’s title-winning squad, Lemons said the Miners felt a little bit overlooked coming into this season because they had so many young players in important roles.
"This year was a special case because we are such a young program," she said. "That first loss against American Fork put us off a lot of people’s radars. This was supposed to be our rebuilding year, so to come out with a state championship is a big confidence booster. We’re looking forward to the future because we have such good young talent."
Lemons said she’ll remember this year’s squad because of how much fun they had being together on the field.
"We had fun every day," she said. "That’s the memory we’ll take away. We had fun all season and didn’t take the game too seriously."
Park City finished with an overall record of 15-2 (14-1 against Utah opponents) and ended the year by winning 10 straight games.
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