PCHS girls’ LAX edges Brighton in overtime | ParkRecord.com

PCHS girls’ LAX edges Brighton in overtime

Park City s Jeni Gordon, shown here during a game earlier this season, scored the game-winning goal in overtime on Thursday night against Brighton.

Tied at 9 with Brighton late in the second half at Dozier Field, the Park City High School girls’ lacrosse team regained possession of the ball deep in its own half of the field.

Senior Marina Mayo raced the length of the field before passing to a teammate. After another pass, a Park City player launched a shot at the goal, beating the Brighton keeper and finding the back of the net. Miner players and coaches rushed on the field to celebrate — not so fast, said the referees.

The shot came just after time had expired — no good.

The dejected Miners were forced into a sudden-death overtime period. Despite being awarded the opening draw because of a Brighton penalty, Park City failed to capitalize on its first offensive possession of the extra period.

On the Bengals’ first chance to win the game, they also failed, giving the ball back to the Miners. After working her way to the front of the Brighton goal, Park City’s Jeni Gordon drew a foul, awarding her prime position for a game-winning shot.

At that point, Park City Coach Kassandra Lemons said she knew the game was over.

"Every time one of our players shoots, I’m pretty certain they’re going to hit net," she said. "There’s a game in lacrosse called ‘Power Finesse.’ It’s fun and, as a program, we keep that a pretty consistent thing that we do in practice. When [Gordon] was on the eight-meter [line], I had full faith she was going to hit the net because it’s just like practice."

Though Gordon hit the game winner, Lemons said the final drive of the game got started with strong defense.

"Jeni made the final goal, but it was really our defense that turned the ball over and slowed [Brighton’s] possession," she said. "[PCHS goalie] Courtney [Kaufman] making that save [to send the game to overtime] really just ignited everyone and made them want to put the effort in. She’s the unsung hero of the game."

Thursday was senior night for Mayo and Livi Andreini, both of whom have made significant contributions to the Park City squad over the years. Lemons said that even though the team only has two seniors this year, they’ll be tough to replace.

"They said in their senior quotes that it was just about it being fun," Lemons said. "They’re successful, which is really cool — players who’ve had so much success bring it back to just the game being fun. They’re rock stars and we’re going to miss them. Mayo leads our midfield and Livi, I call her ‘Mother Hen’ because she’s always getting the team together and communicating on defense and connecting all ends of the field."

Park City (8-1 overall) travels to Judge Memorial on Wednesday night. Lemons said the Miners won’t let a big win against the Bengals go to their heads.

"Obviously, this is a big confidence booster for the girls to be able to play at this level," she said. "But when we head into practice next week, it’s back to square one. We’re going to stay level-headed and grounded and keep working hard for the next game."

Park City’s final home game of the year is scheduled for Monday, May 2, against Skyline. The opening draw is set for 6:15 p.m. at Dozier Field.

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