The Park City Miners played their last game 9 ½ months ago beating Herriman by the score of 16-8 to win the 2017 Girls Lacrosse Championship. That game was played at Alta High School. Park City kicked off their 2018 season on the same field facing the Alta Hawks in both teams’ first game of the season.
Alta is coming off a pretty good season of their own. They finished the 2017 campaign with a 7-5 record. Although they are coming in with a young roster as they lost some valuable seniors last year, Alta wanted to prove that they could hang with the top teams in the state.
Alta gained the first possession of the game with a draw control by Marin Lowry, but the ball was turned over which lead to a quick goal by Park City’s Gabi Nixon, assisted by Brianna Baumann. Alta again gained possession with a Jessica Medina draw control, but Park City goalie Courtney Kaufmann caused a turnover by blocking an Alta pass. Park City was quickly able to transition down the field with great ball movement leading to a goal by Jessie O’Neal assisted by Shaye Henderson.[gravityform id="278" title="true" description="true" ajax="true"]
After an Alta yellow card, Park City was able to score two more goals, one by Lauren Pederson and one by Corrine Sullivan to give them a 4-0 lead with just under 11 minutes left in the first half. Down 4-0, Alta seemed to settle into the game with a few long offensive possessions. They controlled the ball and attacked Park City’s defense, but the Miner’s defense wouldn’t budge. Alta was finally able to get the ball in the back of the net when Marin Lowry drove past a double team for an isolation score with just over a minute left in the first half.
The last minute of the first half was action-packed. Park City’s Shaye Henderson won the draw and quickly moved the ball up to Nixon whoes shot was saved by Alta goalie Peighton Kimble. Alta then had an opportunity with a free position shot by Hannah Ludlow, but it was saved by Park City’s Kaufmann. With just seconds on the clock, Park City had one of their famous transitions to their offensive side of the field leading to a free position goal by Nixon as the first half clock expired to give Park City a 5-1 lead.
At half time, as the girls tried to stay warm, you could sense that Alta coach Josh Sullivan was proud of his team’s effort. Both coaches worked to inspire their team for the second half.
Alta started off the second half as sharp as ever. On Alta’s first possession, Lowry scored her second goal of the night with a quick isolation play from the right side of the field. Lowry wasn’t done, she scored another goal three minutes later to close the gap to 5-3. Alta seemed to be gaining all the momentum, until Park City’s Pederson scored on a free position goal to regain a 3-goal lead. With the game still too close for comfort from the Miner’s perspective, Park City coach Elias Fairman called a timeout. Park City’s time out worked like a charm as they scored the next 3 goals; one a piece by Nixon, Pederson, and Stephanie Burnham. Alta wouldn’t go away as Majena Horoba scored to narrow the lead to 9-4 with 7 and a half minutes to go.
Any thought of an Alta comeback was quickly shot down as Park City finished the game by flexing their offensive muscles. Park City dominated the remainder of the game scoring 6 goals in 7 minutes with Baumann seeming to be involved in every play.
The final score of 15-4 does not tell the whole story as the young Alta team proved that they will be a team to be reckoned with ready to mix it up with the top teams in the state. On the other end of the field, Park City showed some early rust, but was also able to show their dominate form that reminded the league that they are still the team to beat.
Park City had a balanced offensive attack with goals or assists by 9 different players. Brianna Baumann lead all scorers with 4 goals and 4 assists. Gabi Nixon had 2 goals and 2 assists, Lauren Pederson had 3 goals and an assist, Parker Seifert had 2 goals, and Corrine Sullivan, Stefanie Burnham, Jessie O’Neal, and Amelia Livingston each had one goal apiece. Shaye Henderson also had an assist for Park City. Park City’s goalie had 4 saves on 8 shots on goal for a 50% save percentage. On the defensive end, both Morgan Lukrich and Livia Kimche had multiple caused turnovers.
For Alta, Marin Lowry scored 3 goals while Mejena Horoba scored a single goal. Goalie Peighton Kiimble had 9 saves on 24 shots on goal for a 38% save percentage.
Alta will next play at Juan Diego on Monday March 12th, while Park City will travel to Riverton next Wednesday March 14th.