PCHS girls’ LAX starts season with a blowout
Coming off its second state title in two years, the Park City High School girls’ lacrosse team was anxious to prove it wouldn’t miss a beat despite losing several key seniors from last year’s squad.
Led by returning contributors like Marina Mayo, Livi Andreini, Jeni Gordon and Ellie Faulk, among others, the Miners made a statement Monday night at the Quinn’s Junction fields. Hosting West, the Miners cruised to a lopsided 22-1 victory in their season opener.
New coach Kassandra Lemons, who served as an assistant coach last season, said it was great to see the team play so well in its first game. She was especially impressed with the Miners’ teamwork.
"That’s pretty awesome considering a large majority of our team is underclassmen," she said. "Seventeen of our 22 goals were assisted, which was great."
Lemons said that while the Miners may be young, the older players are the ones who make everything click.
"They are incredible in terms of commitment to this sport," she said. "They always show up and are great assets to the younger players. Last year, we had quite the heavy roster of seniors, so they didn’t have as much of an opportunity to lead. They’re really shining this year."
The Miners have a new goalkeeper, Courtney Kaufman, who Lemons said had an excellent debut on Monday.
"She just moved here from New York and she’s a powerhouse," Lemons said. "She’s a ski racer, which is I believe why her family moved here, so she’s a natural athlete."
With victory assured pretty early in Monday’s game, Lemons was able to rotate in most of the younger players on the varsity roster. She said getting them experience will help as the season goes on.
"The opportunity for them to get their nerves out is huge," she said. "There are so many freshmen and JV players from last year that it’s beneficial to get the jitters out early in the season."
The Miners’ next game is scheduled for Wednesday night at Woods Cross. Lemons said she’s anxious to see how Park City’s young players handle their first varsity road game.
"We’ve never played Woods Cross before," she said. "All the new girls are either stepping up from JV or the youth game, so it’s about building chemistry on the road."
On Friday, the Miners head to California for a pair of weekend games against Foothill and Canyon Crest high schools. Lemons said winning the season opener will go a long way toward building Park City’s confidence before the California trip.
"The girls out there are a little different in terms of lacrosse," she said. "It’s good to get a big win heading into a tough weekend. Oftentimes people look at Utah lacrosse and don’t think it’s as competitive as it is, so the girls are excited to go prove themselves."
Park City returns home on Wednesday, March 23, for a game against Jordan. The opening draw is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. at Dozier Field.
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The Miners ended up on the wrong side of a close game on senior night but are still fighting for playoff seeding.