2022 HS Playoffs: Quarterfinal Recaps, Semifinal Previews
Issue 95 - Mens College update as well!
Good morning lacrosse fans! To the parents, team admins, coaches and others who helped step in and fill the youth officials void on Saturday, thank you! To the Seniors who played their final game last week, thank you. Thank you for showing up and being part of the community. Hopefully, your lacrosse journey doesn’t end and you’ll continue to contribute.
ULR x Tribal West Bracket Challenge
How is your bracket looking? Once again, if there are ties, we’ll draw a name out of a hat to pick the winner.
Boys High School
I spent the last month going through MaxPreps, utahlax.org, and laxpower.com through the Wayback Machine on the Internet Archive to create what I’m calling the ‘Utah Boys High School Lacrosse Playoff History’ spreadsheet. I know it’s not 100% accurate, especially in the early days and I haven’t put in some games from this season, but, I think you’ll enjoy it. If anyone out there has data from the 1994-2001 seasons, let’s chat!
It’s no secret that Region 4 has been the superior region in lacrosse and all sports this year for that matter. In football, three of the four teams in the semifinals were from Region 4 (Weber was the other one). In boys basketball, the semis were all Region 4 teams. This same theme extends into volleyball, girls basketball, boys golf, girls golf, track and field, etc. So, will Weber be able to pull off perhaps the biggest upset of Utah high school lacrosse history? Will Davis continue its win streak to 18 games and get to its first championship game in history? Or will Region 4 continue to reign supreme? We’ll have to wait until Wednesday for these answers, but here’s a look at the games.
No. 1 Corner Canyon v. No. 4 Weber - 4pm, Wednesday, Westminster College
The Chargers are the heavy favorites in this one, that’s no secret. They are also the only team of the four semifinal teams that have played in a championship game at any level. They lost to Brighton in 2014, beat Park City, 9-8, in 2015 and then of course last year, once again beating Park City last year, 20-13.
Corner Canyon beat two Region 4 foes en route to the semifinals (22-3 over Pleasant Grove, 22-6 over Westlake). If the trend continues, we should see the Chargers score 22+ and allow 6 or less. If you haven’t had the chance to watch Corner Canyon this year, I’d highly suggest making your way to Westminster on Wednesday. Its high-scoring offense and lockdown defense are fun to watch. The Warriors beat Riverton, 16-10, in the second round and Mountain Ridge, 12-8, in the quarterfinals. Weber has been playing very well as of late and will look to slow down the Chargers.
Corner Canyon midfielder Mason Quick has scored 6 goals and dished out 3 assists in both of the Chargers playoff games while attackman Jon King has 12 goals and 4 assists. Weber will continue to be led by Squish Easley and crew.
No. 2 Davis v. No. 3 American Fork - 6pm, Wednesday, Westminster College
If you missed the Davis v. Lone Peak game on Saturday, you missed an absolute classic! The game went back-and-forth for all four quarters and needed overtime to find a winner. Luckily, we have you covered and you can watch it from end to end below! Davis attackman Connor Johnson scored on a man-up opportunity in overtime to send the Darts to the semifinals but the game ball went to Rhett Rice who had 6 goals and 4 assists. Nick Johnson went 14 of 21 from the faceoff X while scoring 4 goals. Eli Greenway went 7 of 10 on faceoffs.
American Fork advanced after beating Skyridge, 17-6, in the second round and Fremont, 18-5 (Photos | IG Reel), in the quarterfinals. The Fisher brothers combined for 10 goals and 6 assists in the win over Fremont.
Both teams have a few things in common: they play big and physical, have siblings who score in droves, are excellent at faceoffs, took their lumps against Corner Canyon during the regular season and both beat Lone Peak. American Fork beat the Knights twice, by two and three goals respectively. Davis beat the Knights in overtime on Saturday.
This should be another great game and a perfect semifinal matchup.
The 5A semifinals feature three different regions and a great mix of traditional powerhouses. Between the four schools, there have been seven top-tier championships, two Class B championships and four, second-place finishes. Olympus is the only program that hasn’t played in a championship game.
No. 1 Olympus v. No. 4 Alta - Noon, Wednesday, Westminster College
Olympus beat Salem Hills, 22-1, and Viewmont, 15-5, while Alta beat Spanish Fork, 19-5, and Skyline, 11-8, to advance to the semifinals.
I’m pretty sure we’ll see the Olympus we all know show up in this game so then the question is what Alta will show up? The Hawks tore through Region 8, outscoring opponents by a +201 margin meaning they scored 236 goals in region play and only allowed 35. That’s pretty good. However, in non-region games, the Hawks were 1-3 in the regular season, scoring 34 goals while allowing 56. One of those games was a 15-6 loss to Olympus which was 8-0 in favor of the Titans after the first quarter.
What makes Olympus so dangerous is the balanced scoring of Hutton Murphy, Ethan Hartsfield, Camden Rossi and crew. Throw in a well-coached and stout defense and it’s going to take a special effort from Alta to come away with the win. At the end of the day, there are no excuses for either fanbase to absolutely not pack the stands!
No. 2 Park City v. No. 3 Bountiful - 2pm, Wednesday, Westminster College
Park City breezed to the semifinals with wins over Box Elder, 19-3, and Brighton, 19-7. Bountiful dispatched Lehi, 20-3, then beat Wasatch, 13-6.
I’m really looking forward to this match-up. Dane Stewart and I streamed the regular-season game between these two teams all the way back on March 22. That feels like an eternity ago and both teams have gotten better since then. Bountiful led at halftime of that game but then gave up 10 goals in the second half and only scored 3. The Redhawks were without their top attackman, Hayden Hansen, in that game so they are feeling with him on the field, the result will be different. Also, Bountiful felt like they should have been the No. 2 seed but the RPI felt differently.
Both teams are scoring around 14.4 goals per game while the Bountiful defense holds a slight advantage in goals against per game, giving up around 6.1 while Park City sits at 7.3. With those narrow margins on either end, the faceoff X could be where the difference lies. For Park City, Jack McHenry has taken the majority of the faceoffs and is winning 72.7% of them. He won 84% of the faceoffs he took in the regular-season game between the two teams. Bountiful relies on Porter Handley (64%) and Smith Alley (60%). The other factor is strength of schedule. Laxnumbers.com has the Miners with the toughest schedule in 5A at 77.71 on their scale. Bountiful is seventh at 69.51.
We may find that the 4A semifinals and finals may be the most competitive of all the classifications.
No. 1 Sky View v. No. 4 Juan Diego Catholic - 4pm, Wednesday, Judge Memorial
Sky View beat UMA, 23-0, in the quarterfinals while Juan Diego bested Bear River, 13-10.
These two teams met on March 25 with Sky View winning, 9-3. The Bobcats only losses are to two 6A teams (Weber, Fremont) and Ridgeline in overtime. The only 4A opponent that Juan Diego has lost to is Sky View. Wyatt Robertson wasn’t playing that day for the Soaring Eagle and has been a huge part in the success of the team this season. On the flip side, the regular-season game tied for the lowest-scoring game for Sky View this season (they also only scored 9 against Green Canyon). I suspect we’ll see a high-scoring game in this one.
No. 2 Green Canyon v. No. 3 Ridgeline - 6pm, Wednesday, Judge Memorial
Green Canyon beat Waterford, 16-3, in the quarterfinals while Ridgeline edged Mountain Crest, 17-7.
Green Canyon owns the 2022 series between these teams after beating the Riverhawks, 13-4 and 13-6 respectively. They say it’s hard to beat a team three times in a season, so Ridgeline is feeling confident. However, the Wolves aren’t ready to relinquish bragging rights.
Girls High School
No. 1 Skyridge v. No. 5 Syracuse - 4pm, Tuesday, Westminster College
Skyridge is in the favored seat in this battle against Syracuse. Skyridge is in the 43 spot in the Nation, No. 1 in Utah and No. 1 in class 6A. Even though the odds are stacked against Syracuse there isn’t a huge differential with Skyridge at 258 Goals For and 141 Goals Against and Syracuse at 241 Goals For and 143 Goals Against. This will be one interesting game to watch.
Recap - No. 1 Skyridge v. No. 8 West Jordan: Skyridge holds their title of being No. 1 as they scored 15 goals on the Jaguars and only allowed 4 in. “Skyridge girls played well. The middies controlled the draw really well, getting us the offensive possessions we needed to control the tempo of the game. Our defense was incredible and slowed down WJ’s fast breaks well. Kudos to West Jordan for a hard-fought game and sustained effort throughout the game. Our statement comes from captain Allie. When asked about her playing defense really well today she says, “we did play well. It must have been those electrolytes…” (our Assistant coach brought Gatorade for the team haha…),” said Skyridge Head Coach Collin Gill.
Recap - No. 4 Davis v. No. 5 Syracuse: Syracuse had a dominating game over Davis. After losing to Davis twice in their season they went into this game with fire and fight. We saw Syracuse fight from the first draw that was won by Rilyn Johnson. The Darts had a hard time finding the back of the net with numerous of their power shots going wide or soaring over the goal. Titian’s defense held strong but the Darts were able to find running lanes and sink the ball in the back of the net. Syracuse left the field with a score of 9-5. “Still on an emotional high! So proud of the girls and how well they executed the game plan. We made a few crazy goals and one of them was to make it to the quarterfinals and then see what happens - so now this is a bonus,” said Syracuse Head Coach Adam Suttlemyre.
No. 2 Mountain Ridge v. No. 3 Lone Peak - 6pm, Tuesday, Westminster College
This is a tight match-up. Mountain Ridge stayed steady this season. While Lone Peak has had a crazy amount of progression with each game. They are neck in neck in rankings. Mountain Ridge has a foot up with 89% wins, 328 Goals For and 102 Goals Against.
Recap - No. 2 Mountain Ridge v. No. 7 Corner Canyon: Mountain Ridge had a phenomenal win over Corner Canyon. At the helm of Mountain Ridge's success was Senior Morgan Mackey with 4 Goals and Bekah Bargeron with 77% Saves. Statement from Corner Canyons Head Coach Matt Kenning, “They rolled us in the end. We started off fine. Was like 3-2 most of the way through the 1st half but our team got tired and Mountain Ridge took advantage. Mountain Ridge played well. Hats off to them.”
Recap - No. 3 Lone Peak v. No. 11 Riverton: Lone Peak defeated Riverton, 17-9. “The girls came out so strong today. They all came ready to play. Rivertons middies really tested our midfield but we were able to stay strong and have more of the draw control. We played hard on defense, through the mid, and all the way through the attack. The girls redefended so well, having caused turnovers all over the board. Riverton is a fantastic team and we had fun playing them today. We’ll get in a good practice before Tuesday and come out ready for Mountain Ridge Sentinels,” said Lone Peak Head Coach Weslie Lundell.
No. 1 Park City v. No. 4 Wasatch - Noon, Tuesday, Westminster College
Wasatch has had an amazing season that has led them to play No. 1 Park City. Park City is favored to win this game as they sit No. 44 in the nation, No. 2 in Utah and No. 1 in Class 5A.
Recap - No. 1 Park City v. No. 8 Woods Cross: Woods Cross went in hopeful but was unsuccessful with getting points on the board. Park City had a shutout game, 20-0. Sophomore Charlie Iacobelli led the team with 5 goals.
Recap - No. 4 Wasatch v. No. 5 Jordan: Some would say this game wasn’t just between the teams but with Senior Siena Fairbanks on Jordan and Junior Grace Erker on Wasatch. Siena had 6 goals while Grace had 8 goals. Wasatch pushed through with the win over Jordan, 15-13. That was one of those games where you say “that was anyone's game” meaning it was a close match throughout the game.
No. 2 Brighton v. No. 3 Olympus - 2pm, Tuesday, Westminster College
This is one match-up everyone is excited to see. Brighton ranked higher than Olympus but Olympus had defeated Brighton this season. These two will bring some heat to the field and I will be sitting in the front row ready to watch.
Recap - No. 2 Brighton v. No. 7 Alta: Brighton defeated Alta once more, 12-9. Alta fought hard, making almost every shot they took. 9G and 3SOG, meaning they made 9/12 goals. “What a fun game! Very proud of my players for listening to, and trusting the coaches. It was hot and intense and very well reffed. Alta has some really speedy players. A great game to end at home for our 16 seniors,” said Brighton Head Coach Melissa Nash.
Recap - No. 3 Olympus v. No. 6 Payson: Olympus beat Payson, 21-4. With the Titans top scorer Sophomore Hannah Nelson with 5 goals on the night. “Great aggressively off the draw! I haven’t seen the breakdown yet, but from the start, the girls were grinding. Beautiful transitions. Great body defense. All in all an amazing last game on our home turf! Excited to play Brighton Tuesday,” said Olympus Head Coach Zana Spratling.
No. 1 Bear River v. No. 5 Sky View - 4pm, Tuesday, Judge Memorial
Bear River is favored to win this game over Sky View. The Bears have defeated the Bobcats twice this year with a 14-goal lead each time.
Recap - No. 1 Bear River v. No. 8 Judge Memorial: Bear River won by forfeit over Judge Memorial. I was told Judge Memorial had too many injuries from their previous game/s to fill a full team.
Recap - No. 4 Ridgeline v. No. 5 Sky View: Sky View defeated Ridgeline for the second time this season. In overtime, both goalies had amazing saves but Sky View was able to sneak one in on them. Freshmen Abby Hunt snuck 7/9 shots on goal. Along with Junior Dika Bair being an unbelievable defender with 7GB and 5CT. Sky View is excited to make it to the next round to play Bear River.
No. 3 Juan Diego v. No. 7 Waterford - 6pm, Tuesday, Judge Memorial
The rivalry game there is a 4 spot ranking difference between the two but what we have to look at is the progression Waterford has had this season. The Soaring Eagle (JD) and the Ravens (W) have battled twice this season. The Soaring Eagle won the first round 23-4 and the second round 6-3. That is a large amount of progression for the Ravens. Juan Diego is favored to win once more.
Recap - No. 2 Mountain Crest v. No. 7 Waterford: Waterford beat Mountain Crest, 16-15. This is the Ravens first win over the Mustangs. Earlier this season Mountain Crest had defeated Waterford, 19-8. Waterford learned from that experience and came back stronger.
Recap - No. 3 Juan Diego v. No. 6 Green Canyon: Juan Diego brought the fire to this game taking the W over the Wolves (GC), 16-2. This wasn’t a surprise as they have played “harder” teams this season and were placed 3 spots higher than Green Canyon.
This Saturday, be sure to tune into the NCAA D-I Semifinals as the state of Utah will have representation in both games.
When Maryland takes on Princeton, we’ll have Bubba Fariman (Maryland/Brighton) taking on the Pederson brothers, Beau and McKnight (Princeton/Park City). In the other game, Zack Franckowiak (Rutgers/Corner Canyon) and Rutgers will look to defeat Cornell and advance to the championship game on Monday. No matter how the cookie crumbles, we’ll have a Utahn in the NCAA D-I Championship game.
That’s it for today, stay safe out there and see you on the sidelines!
— Tim Haslam (Intro/Boys/Mens) & Kenzie Christiansen (Girls)