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2014 ULA Girls D-I Preview: South Conference

Continuing our previews, we head to the ULA Girls D-I South Conference. American Fork, Corner Canyon and Herriman are all newcomers and will look to upset long time members Alta, Bingham, Juan Diego, Lone Peak and Riverton.

Alta Hawks

2013 Record: 8-5 (5-1)
2013 Playoffs: 3rd seed, lost to Park City in Quarterfinals
The Hawks had a good 2013 season and will look to return to their former glory this season with new coach Josh Sullivan. The Hawks lost two 2013 First Team All-State players in Sarah Linford and Hannah Choi who happened to also be their two leading scorers. The Hawks also had several key players go to Corner Canyon when the schools split.

American Fork Lady Cavemen

Haley Cook American Fork Lacrosse
Haley Cook
2013 Record: 10-3 (6-1) in D-II
2013 Playoffs: 1st seed, D-II Champions
American Fork won the D-II Championship and continued to play well in Super 7s in the fall. Junior Haley Cook led American Fork last year with 39 goals and 28 assists, which was good enough to earn a spot on the 2013 First Team All-State squad. Juniors Emily Esplin, Morgan Greening and Brooke Jones also tallied 63 goals between the three of them. New head coach Ray Langhaim will be looking to get the Lady Cavemen into the playoffs in their first year in D-I.
Statement game: March 6 @ Judge. The Lady Cavemen will cut their D-I teeth early on against Judge in what should be a good test for American Fork.

Bingham Miners

Jessica Allen Bingham Girls Lacrosse
Jessica Allen
2013 Record: 11-5 (5-1)
2013 Playoffs: 1st seed, lost to Park City in Semifinals
The Miners graduated 15 seniors including several key players including 2013 First Team All-State players Morgan Judd and Cassidy Grizzle as well as 2013 Second Team All-State players Rachel Munk and Kira Heiden. With that said, the Miners are hopeful they can find success in 2014.

Corner Canyon Chargers

Corner Canyon is a brand new team for the 2014 season and will be led by Jim Williamson. The Chargers have experienced players who came from Alta including Karli Bird, Shelby Madden and Sabrina Baldassari just to name a few.
Statement game: March 11 @ Park City. This will be a tough test for the Chargers and will be a great measuring stick game.

Herriman Mustangs

2013 Record: 10-4 (6-2) in D-II
2013 Playoffs: 2nd seed, lost to Lehi in Semifinals
Herriman has been moved up to D-I this season and will be led by former assistant coach Tim Martinez who had this to say about his team:
“Hailey Kenny, returning first team All Conference and has had a really good off season,” said Martinez. “Charley Bailey, Senior Captain and returning starter as Low D. She knows this is her last year and has stepped as a leader and very aggressive defensive player. Kyndra Caldwell she is a middie and is very very fast, she seems to play with chip on her shoulder. Audrey Erekson. She is only a sophomore but started as a freshman and I believe won over 60% of her draws last year. She just knows how to create a shot for herself and get an assist when her teammates is open. Kenzie Dunford has really worked hard as a midfield and stepped her aggressiveness and should have a great year. This are just the tip of a fantastic group of young ladies.”
Former American Fork Head Coach Lindsay Gomm, who led the Lady Cavemen to a D-II Championship has joined the Mustangs and will bring another dimension to the team.
Statement game: March 11 @ Brighton. The Mustangs will take on a great Bengal squad in their first D-I game of the regular season.

Juan Diego Soaring Eagle

2013 Record: 5-7 (2-3)
2013 Playoffs: Did Not Qualify
New Juan Diego Head Coach Davis Mullholland, who was an assistant on the team for the past three years, feels confident in his 2014 squad.
“This year’s team seems to be more cohesive then we’ve seen in the past,” said Mullholland. “We are seeing a bond between all the players, regardless of class, skill level or personality.  Everyone is driven to work hard, get better and have fun doing it. We have an opportunity to have our best team in several years.  We look forward to seeing the team come together in the next month.  Most of all, we can’t wait for our first game!”
Mara Gronseth (2013 First Team All-State), Markie Wright, Ashley Tack, Dani Beatty and Maddy Mullholand will be key players for Juan Diego as they make a run for the playoffs.
The Soaring Eagle also brought on Jeff Tack and Mike Gronseth to help coach.
Rivalry game: March 26 v. Judge. This rivalry never gets old in any sport and girls lacrosse is no different!

Lone Peak Knights

2013 Record: 5-7 (1-5)
2013 Playoffs: Did Not Qualify
Lone Peak Head Coach Josh Emerson weighs in on a few of his players:
“We expect all three of seniors (Rachael Gilmore, Tatum McDonald, and Mary Fotheringham) this year to be stand out players,” said Emerson. “They all have had significant experience that will culminate into what we hope to be dominant senior performances and all around leadership. It would be hard to distinguish one from the other as they seem to build off each other with a high goal for success. Someone the fans might not know about but is returning this year with high hopes is Taylor Siri. She has improved drastically since last season on her freshmen campaign on varsity and is looking to make her mark this year as an all around player. She isn’t the biggest girl out there but she uses her size and speed to her advantage and that gives her immense upside.”
Emerson feels confident in every position on the field, but feels his midfield is the strongest.
“I would have to say the strongest position we field on the team is the middle field position,” said Emerson. “We have tons of girls capable and conditioned to play both ways but had to narrow them down and move our players to their strengths. Overall, the team is very balanced and we look forward to the offense vs. defense competition on Lone Peak.”

Riverton Silverwolves

Riverton Girls Lacrosse2013 Record: 8-6 (5-1)
2013 Playoffs: 2nd seed, lost to Skyline in Semifinals
The Silverwolves enter the season as one of the top teams in the state and feature 10 return starters including three 2013 Second Team All-State selections in Avery Frost, Katie Oka and Mikala Anderson.
“Because of our stellar goalie (Anderson), our field defenders don’t get the credit they deserve,” said Riverton Head Coach David Oka. “Nic Larson, Katie Oka and Tess Campbell will continue to lead the defense that was the league’s top 1 or 2  in fewest shots-on-goal.”
While being a league favorite can be fun, it comes with challenges.
“I want my team to be much more consistent this year,” said Oka. “We tended on getting up for the “big” games and letting down at times last year.  Our biggest challenge will be ourselves and staying focused on the next game. I look forward to seeing how the players will react to adversity-on and off the field-I think our girls have a lot of confidence in their team, as they should.  However, there will be challenges and set-backs and I will be interested to see how they figure that out.”

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