The Alta Hawks girls lacrosse team has been a lacrosse juggernaut not used to losing games. In fact, not one girl on the Alta team had lost a game in their high school careers until this year. If Alta wanted to defend their title, they would have to get past the Bingham Miners whose only season losses in the past 2 years have come at the hands of Alta
The Miners played the Alta in the second semifinal game of the night. Alta scored first with a goal by Shayna Hunt assisted by Malia Stephens. Bingham answered back with a free position goal by Olivia Winters. Alta came back with a crease roll goal by Sarah Linford to put them ahead 2-1. Bingham then went on a 4 goal run with another goal by Olivia Winters and goals by Cierra Peterson, Morgan Judd, and Brooke Tate. Alta scored on a free position by Melia Stephens, but Bingham answered right back with a goal by Morgan Judd who had a relentless attack on a crease roll.
With Bingham up 6-3 at halftime, Alta knew they would have to come out strong in the second half to mount their comeback. Alta Scored on a Hanah Carter goal just 40 seconds into the second half. But, after an Alta yellow card, Bingham’s Brooke Tate scored back to back goals in their man-up situation to put Bingham up 8-4. Bingham had a chance to add to their lead but a crease violation negated their next goal. Minutes later, with Alta looking to score, Bingham’s Cassidy Grizzle came up with a great defensive play. She checked the ball out of the Alta attackers stick, picked up the ground ball and ran it down the field. She then found teammate Morgan Judd who got fouled, but scored on the free position. With Bingham up 9-4 and 16:40 to play, Alta called a time out to see if they could put together a run to get them back into the game.
After the timeout, Alta scored on a Shayna Hunt goal assisted by Regina Farley to bring them back with 4 goals. Alta appeared to close the gap even more, but Hanah Carter’s goal was taken away due to a yellow card she was assessed because of a dangerous propel call. Despite being a man down, Alta still came up with the ball and was taking quality shots on Bingham Goalie Kelly Fitzgerald. “Fitz” as her teammates call her, built a stone wall around the goal and would not let any balls through. She came up with a big save after big save that drew cheers and groans from the crowd. Alta finally did find the back of the net on a Shayna Hunt free position goal with 4:33 left in the game. Bingham won the ensuing draw and went into their stall, playing keep away to run down the clock. Bingham took one last shot and scored on a Morgan Judd goal with 4.6 seconds left to finish the scoring at 11-6.
After the final horn, Bingham players ran to their goalie and carried her on their shoulders. Bingham Head Coach Eliza Hitz met her goalie at midfield and gave her a hug to congratulate her on a great game.
“Fitz is hard working, respectable, and coachable,” said Hitz, giving her goalie credit for being a big part of their win. “She wasn’t even our starter for most of the season. She got an opportunity because our starter was sick. Her hard work has payed off.” Of her team Hitz said, “I am so proud of my girls! I feel privileged to coach a squad that plays with such heart, generosity, and skill.”
Alta Head Coach Jeff Gorringe had nothing but praise for Bingham.
“You have to give them credit,” said Gorringe. “They beat us 3 times this year and that is hard to do. They were the better team; they took us out of our offense. Credit is to them.” Coach Gorringe also echoed Hitz praise of Fitz saying “their little goalie played out of her brains tonight.”
Bingham was led by Morgan Judd with 4 goals, Olivia Winters and Brooke Tate with 3 goals a piece, and Cierra Petersen with a goal. Alta was led by Shayna Hunt with 3 goals, Malia Stephens with a goal and an assist, Sarah Linford and Hanah Carter with a goal each, and Regina Farley with an assist.
Bingham will take on Park City in the “Battle of the Miners” on Saturday at 1:00pm at Brighton High School for the Girls D-I Championship.
Pictures from the Gathering of the Tribes Tournament courtesy of ShootingStar Photography