When you think of beautiful home fields around the state of Utah, you might automatically think places like Judge Memorial, whose stadium sits on a hill just east of downtown Salt Lake overlooking the beautiful city. You might think of Park City, whose field is just minutes away from some of the most picturesque ski resorts in the world. You may even think of West High’s field in the center of urban Salt Lake surrounded by high rises.
There is a hidden gem in Utah girls lacrosse. When Skyline’s stadium is unavailable to their lacrosse team, they play their home games at nearby Churchill Jr. High school. Churchill Jr. High is on the east bench of Salt Lake City, barely east of Interstate 215. This field has one of the most breathtaking backdrops, nestled at the base of Mt. Olympus.
It was a treat to be able to watch the Skyline Eagles host the Viewmont Vikings on this wonderful field. Skyline is a team that is trying to get its footing early in the season. After a respectable loss to Jordan, and a heartbreaking one goal loss to Woods Cross, the Eagles were hungry to find their first win.
Viewmont came into the season with big expectations of competing with the top teams in the state. They started the season strong with big wins against Woods Cross and Brighton, and suffered a close loss to Corner Canyon last week that left a bitter taste in their mouths.
Viewmont won the opening draw and was able to get the ball to their offensive side of the field, but found it difficult to score on Skyline’s stout defense. Viewmont’s first six shots were either saved or sailed wide until Kenadee Hatch was able to find the back of the net with a goal assisted by Sage Acord, five minutes into the game. Viewmont scored their second goal as Isabelle Boyd was successful right off the draw.
Skyline answered back by winning the next two draws and finished their possessions with scores by Tessa Frey and Ashlee Roberts. With the score tied 2-2, Viewmont’s offense kicked it into high gear. Consecutive scores by Hatch, Angie Foster and two goals by Haillie Clark put Viewmont up 6-2, causing Skyline coach, Katie Baker, to take a time out with 5 minutes left in the half.
Baker’s motivational speech and tactical adjustments during the time out proved to be effective as they slowed down Viewmont’s high powered offense. Viewmont’s attackers were unable to get free for open shots, and when they did get a shot off, Skyline’s goalie Catherine Young was there for the save. Despite Skyline’s strong defense, they were unable to capitalize on their possessions as neither team was able to score in the final 5 minutes of the half.
Starting the second half, Viewmont knew they would need to come out strong to fight off a hungry Skyline team. The Vikings did just that. Viewmont’s Robin Linning scored one minute into the second half to put the Vikings up 7-2. Viewmont added to their lead with scores by Foster and Clark.
Now up 9-2, the Vikings weren’t done showing their offensive power. Viewmont won the next draw and were driving the ball to their offensive end of the field. An accidental check to the head by a Skyline defender earned her a yellow card putting the Eagles a man down for 2 minutes. Viewmont capitalized on their advantage scoring three more quick goals.
Despite the score now being 12-2, Skyline players didn’t seem to be discouraged. They showed the poise of a well-disciplined and a well-coached team. Skyline’s offense competed throughout the game and was finally able to score as Roberts drove through the Viking defense for a nice hard shot the found the back of the net. Two minutes later, Robert again put the Eagles on her shoulders as she scored her third goal of the night to bring score to 12-4.
Despite Skyline’s admirable efforts, it was just too difficult to slow down Viewmont’s offense. Skyline’s Beatrice Bridge and Maci Thom would get on the board scoring goals for the Eagles, but those goals were answered by two more goals by Viewmont attackers Hatch and Frampton to put the final score Viewmont 17, Skyline 6.
Viewmont was led by Kennedy Hatch who scored 6 goals and 2 assists and Hallie Clark who had 4 goals and 2 assists. Alice Frampton scored 3 goals for the Vikings, and Isabelle Boyd and Robin Linning a had one goal apiece. Sage Acord also contributed with two assists. The Viking goalies combined to save 4 of 10 shots for a 40% save percentage.
Skyline’s Ashley Roberts led Skyline with 3 goals. Tessa Very, Beatrice Bridge, and Maci Thom contributed with a goal each. Skyline goalie Catherine Young had 9 saves on Viewmont’s 26 shots on goal for a 35% save percentage.
After the game, Viewmont coach Brian Acord said his team has improved since their loss last week. “We moved the ball pretty well and were able to have clean transitions,” said Acord. Coach Acord’s team seems to be having fun as well. “We have a good time. Even in our loss last week, our girls had a blast,” Acord said.
Skyline will play again on their beautiful Churchill Jr. High field on Friday when they host the Alta Hawks. Viewmont will try to maintain their momentum as they travel to West High on Friday.