PCHS girls’ LAX wins back-to-back state titles
May 19, 2015
With less than a minute left in Saturday afternoon’s girls’ lacrosse state title game between Park City and Brighton, the score was tied at 10. As time was winding down, Brighton had possession of the ball and it seemed as though the Park City defense would hold out long enough to send the game to overtime.
That wasn’t the case, though. With 18 seconds left, a Brighton shot beat Park City keeper Madeline Komisar, giving the Bengals an 11-10 lead.
Though the game wasn’t technically over, Park City’s hopes were slim. During a Brighton timeout, the Miners planned their last-ditch effort.
After controlling the draw, Park City quickly made its way up the field. With about five seconds left, a shot was fired at the Brighton goal. When the Bengal goalie blocked that shot, victory was all but locked up for Brighton.
But, seemingly out of nowhere, Hannah Hyatt came flying in, grabbed the rebound from the goalie and fired a desperation shot that flew by the Brighton goalie’s head and into the back of the net, tying the game at 11 with 2.8 seconds left.
That score sent the game to overtime, where two three-minute periods were played. After getting a pair of goals from Ellie Meyer and Marina Mayo in the first three-minute period, Park City took a 13-12 lead into the second overtime period and held strong, earning the state championship in dramatic fashion and extending its unbeaten streak to 30 games.
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Though tensions were high in the final 18 seconds of regulation, Park City Coach Abbie Coleman said she knew the Miners still had a chance to tie the game.
"We told them 18 seconds is a long time," she said. "It only takes eight seconds to score a goal from the draw. But we did tell them, like we were telling them all game, how important it is to take a good shot."
"What we talk about always is just having fun," Hyatt said. "We play a lot better when we’re laughing and smiling. They told us to have fun in the last 18 seconds of our last high-school game and that, no matter what, we’re family."
Still, Coleman and everyone on the Park City sideline were ecstatic when Hyatt managed to find the back of the net.
"I was hopeful we’d be able to get a goal," Coleman said. "But I was pleasantly surprised that we were actually able to tie it up."
Hyatt’s goal was her sixth of the game, but it would be hard to find a more important goal scored this season.
"I thought we were going to make [the initial shot]," Hyatt said. "But the second I saw my teammate shoot high, I figured she might block it. I immediately went into a mode and full-on sprinted to the ball. She kind of pops it out [when she makes a save], so I knew it was going to come out. I picked it up awkwardly and just kind of Hail Mary-ed it into the goal."
"Hannah’s one of the players that can step up," Coleman added. "All season long, she’s had the ability to change the tempo of the game. She makes her shots count. Six goals today is phenomenal. The thing with Hannah, too, is it wasn’t selfish play, either. It was off a pass or getting herself in the right position or rebounding a shot that was saved initially."
Defensively, the Miners stepped up when it counted the most, holding Brighton to just one goal in the two overtime periods. Hyatt said she’s not surprised first-year goalie Komisar came through in the clutch.
"Maddie is a beast," she said. "We knew from the second we recruited her that she was going to dominate. She’s such a blast to have on the field. She makes us feel so funny and so free of stress. It’s crazy how far she’s come having only played for three months."
After cruising through the regular season, the Miners had three of their toughest games of the season in the playoffs. Coleman said the girls liked to pretend they were playing a joke on the coaching staff during the tight games.
"It’s an ongoing team joke that the girls like to say, ‘We’re just joking with you when we go down early,’" she laughed. "Today, we told them, ‘Kudos, that was the biggest joke of the season and it wasn’t funny.’"
Coleman said she’s thrilled that this year’s big group of seniors will be able to leave PCHS as back-to-back state champions. She said it’s only fitting that they go out on top after all they’ve done for the program.
"With nine seniors, it’s incredible the leadership we have," she said. "It would have been a really hard game to lose for those nine seniors, coming off an undefeated season. But Brighton played such a good game that it really could have gone either way."
The team would like to thank the Park City School District, Park City High School and PCHS Athletic Director Jamie Sheetz for their support of high school girls’ lacrosse, which the team says is more than any other school district, high school and athletic director in the state of Utah provides. Their support is a key component of the girls’ success this year and every year and is very much appreciated by everyone associated with the Park City High School girls’ lacrosse program.
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