2023 Region Recap, University of Utah Men's Lacrosse Upbringing to NCAA and BYU Women's Lacrosse Interview
Written by: Megan Chambers and McKenzie Christiansen
Good morning Utah Lacrosse community! We have received significant feedback from the Utah Lacrosse Fandom across the Wasatch mountains. Key points of emphasis include the demand for more podcasts, expanded coverage of boys' lacrosse, and a focus on the growth from youth to college levels in Utah. Rest assured, all feedback has been carefully reviewed and acknowledged. As we enter 2024, our commitment is to make this year the best yet, addressing the needs and expectations of our lacrosse community comprehensively.
As we step into the current week, let's dive into the captivating history of "The fastest sport on two feet." Taking a nostalgic journey through the 2023 Regions Championships, exploring the Utes' ascent to D1 status, and gaining insights through an exclusive interview with the head coach of BYU women's lacrosse, this sequence provides a comprehensive look at lacrosse's origins, achievements, and future trajectory. Join us as we reflect on the rich tapestry of lacrosse, appreciating our roots, celebrating accomplishments, and anticipating the exciting journey ahead.
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Lacrosse, often referred to as "the fastest sport on two feet," is a dynamic and exhilarating team sport that traces its roots back to Indigenous communities in North America. With a rich history spanning centuries, lacrosse has evolved into a highly competitive and physically demanding game played at various levels, from youth leagues to professional teams. Characterized by its fast-paced nature, intricate stick skills, and strategic gameplay, lacrosse captivates players and spectators alike. Whether on the field or in the stands, the sport's combination of athleticism, teamwork, and tradition continues to leave an indelible mark on the global sporting landscape.
Recap of the 2023 Region Champions
Fremont Silverwolves: 2023 Region 1 Championship
Fremont asserted dominance, securing a decisive 17-7 victory against Clearfield in a home conference game. The final score, highlighted Fremont's commanding performance. Outstanding contributions from players like Owen Hill (2024 Soph.), C. Isaacson (2024 Senior), and Davis Searle (2024 Senior) fueled Fremont's exceptional stats, totaling 17 goals, 14 assists, and 31 points. The team's unwavering performance across quarters showcased their superiority on the field. Fremont's fielding and defensive prowess, led by players like Bransen Hiatt (2024 Soph.) and Evan Clarke (Graduated 2024), made significant impacts. Notably, Fremont excelled in faceoffs with a faceoff percentage of .500, while goaltenders Carter Thornock (2024 Soph.) and Riley Souza (2024 Jr.) showcased skills, fortifying the team's robust defensive performance.
This victory marked a momentous achievement, propelling Fremont to secure the title of Champions for the 2023 Region 1. The win stands as a memorable and impactful moment, solidifying Fremont's position as the superior force in lacrosse for the 2023 season. Being the 2023 Region 1 Champs puts them on the top of the list for 2024.
Bingham Miners: 2023 Region 3 Championship
The Bingham varsity lacrosse team delivered a stellar performance, securing a resounding 25-1 victory against West at their home turf in South Jordan, UT. Bingham's scoring prowess was evident in impressive statistics, collectively scoring 25 goals, recording 9 assists, and accumulating a total of 34 points. The notable offensive efficiency was highlighted by an impressive shooting percentage of 1.389. Standout performances from players like Roman Dickson (Graduated 2023), Chandler Black (Graduated 2023), and London Peterson (Graduated 2023) underscored the team's depth Nick Anderson (Graduated 2023), the defensive unit forced 16 turnovers, disrupting the opponent's strategies and maintaining control of the game.
This victory held special significance as it marked the team's last game in the region, propelling them to claim the title of Champions for Region 3 in 2023. Bingham's outstanding performance in the 2023 season, solidified their status as the top team as they enter region 2 in 2024.
Corner Canyon Chargers: 2023 Region 4 Championship
Corner Canyon asserted their superiority with a commanding 19-0 victory against Pleasant Grove. The final score not only highlighted Corner Canyon's dominance on the field but also showcased their exceptional performance across all four quarters.
Corner Canyon's offensive prowess was evident in the statistics, with the team collectively scoring 19 goals and recording 7 assists, accumulating a total of 26 points.
Standout performances from athletes like Jacob Osborn, B. Franckowiak, and Porter Wells contributed significantly to Corner Canyon's dominating victory. The fielding and defensive efforts of players like Rhett King and Seth Carlsen further underscored the team's all-around excellence.
This comprehensive win not only solidified Corner Canyon's dominance but also secured their victory in the Region 4 Championship, further emphasizing their prowess in lacrosse for the 2023 season. Furthermore into 2024 Chargers are in the top seat to beat in Region 4.
Glory on the Field: Recap of the 2023 Girls Lacrosse High School Region Champions
Region 1 - Farmington High School emerged as Region 1 champions in the 2023 Girls Lacrosse season, showcasing an impeccable performance with a region record of 14-0. The Phoenix, under the guidance of Coach Chris Macaulay, demonstrated unparalleled skill and determination, finishing the season with an outstanding overall record of 17-2.
Region 3 - In a commanding season, the Mountain Ridge Sentinels secured the Region 3 championship with an impressive 6-0 region record and an overall record of 13-7. Under the guidance of Coach Angie Maughan, the Sentinels displayed prowess and determination, marking their triumphant journey in the 2023 girls lacrosse season.
Region 4 - The Lone Peak Knights, coached by Weslie Lundell, emerged as Region 4 champions with a remarkable 10-0 region record and an overall record of 18-2. Coach Lundell reflects on the team's journey, emphasizing their dedication and resilience. Despite a challenging loss mid-season, the girls rallied, elevating their practices and gameplay. Following a tough defeat to Bingham, the team regrouped, implementing immediate changes. The playoff prep showcased a transformed team, exemplified in a Semifinal rematch against Bingham, where the Knights secured a 19-9 victory, avenging their previous 13-11 loss just 12 days before. Despite a player's initial belief that change wasn't possible mid-season, the team demonstrated the fallacy of such thinking. Reflecting on the 2023 champion season, Coach Lundell explains, “they showed up hungry every day, put in the work, and fought clear through the end with a well deserved state title”. Their success highlights that anyone is capable of change at any time, emphasizing that embracing positive changes is key to achieving success in sports.
Region 5 - Woods Cross Wildcats, under the coaching of Sierra Harris, claimed the top spot in Region 5 with an impressive 9-1 region record and concluded the season with a solid overall record of 11-5. With Coach Harris resigning from the Head Coaching position, her successor aims to highlight the incredible seniors of 2023 at Woods Cross. “Skylar Midgley displayed fierceness on the draw, Maggie Preece dominated on the attack, and Lucy Philips excelled on the defensive end with one of the highest turnover rates. As these outstanding players move on, there are big shoes to be filled within the team.”
Region 6 - Olympus High, home of the Titans, received the Region 6 girls lacrosse championship under the coaching of Zana Spratling. They dominated with an overall record of 17-1, maintaining a perfect region record of 5-0.
Region 8 - The region 8 champion title was secured by the Lehi Pioneers, coached by Siri Sandstrom, with an overall record of 18-1 and a flawless region record of 12-0. Additionally, the team received several awards, including USA Lacrosse All-Academic, Region 8 MVP, and First and Second Teams All-State Awards. Coach Sandstrom expanded on this by explaining how “many girls would get together on Saturdays, stay after practice, or watch film of other teams on their own to help grow their skills”. The team's success was attributed to the players' dedication, hard work outside of practice, determination to play their best and the fact that “at Lehi we are a family, and we treat each other as such. This foundation helps us to have better team chemistry which brought us a lot of success last year”. With the momentum from the Region Champions title, Lehi is eagerly anticipating their move to the 6A division, aiming to “show what Lehi is capable of”.
Region 9 - Provo, coached by Megan Jensen, claimed the top spot in Region 9, boasting an overall record of 14-6 and an undefeated region record of 7-0. In the 2023 season, their specific goal of winning the region and reaching the quarterfinals was achieved, marking a significant accomplishment. Coach Jensen describes how “winning region was a huge confidence builder for our program and has given us momentum toward our future goals for our program. It taught us we can accomplish anything we set our minds to and we are a great team!” The success not only brought pride but also paved the way for future goals and aspirations for the Provo girls lacrosse program.
South Region - Juan Diego Catholic girls lacrosse team, coached by Shaun Judd, emerged as champions in the South region with an overall record of 10-4 and a region record of 3-1.
North Region - Bear River, coached by Jeremy Webb, emerged as the North region champions, boasting an impressive overall record of 17-1 and a perfect region record of 10-0.
In a season filled with triumphs and dedication, high school girls lacrosse teams across various regions showcased their prowess, with each champion leaving an indelible mark on the field, embodying the spirit of sportsmanship and achievement. Excited to see who emerges in the 2024 season as each region’s champions!
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University of Utah Men’s Lacrosse: How did the Utes go D1 NCAA?
In 2017, the University of Utah Athletics Department marked a historic moment by introducing lacrosse as an NCAA sport, slated to commence in the 2018-19 academic year. This addition represented the first entirely new NCAA sport at the university since 1995, which was the inception of women's soccer. The program's establishment was made possible through a generous $15.6 million endowment, led by an anonymous donor and supported by additional benefactors. The University of Utah proudly became the inaugural Pac-12 institution with an NCAA men's lacrosse team, standing alongside Denver and Air Force as the sole Division I men's lacrosse programs west of the Mississippi. The Utes embarked on their Division I journey in the spring of 2019, securing their inaugural victory with a triumphant 13-9 performance against Mercer. Over the course of four seasons, including the remarkable 2022 season where 42 school records were shattered, Utah has forged an all-time record of 22-24, contributing to the growth and success of lacrosse in the western United States.
University of Utah Men’s Lacrosse: Atlantic Sun Conference
Utah is positioned as the favorite for the 2024 Atlantic Sun Conference Men's Lacrosse title, securing the top spot in the preseason coaches poll after a successful 12-4 campaign with an undefeated 9-0 record in conference play and an ASUN Championship victory. Jacksonville claims the second spot in the poll, with Air Force, Bellarmine, and Robert Morris ranking in the top half. Kyle Playsted of the Knights is named Preseason Player of the Year, while Utah earns two superlative honors with Jared Andreala as Preseason Midfielder of the Year and Joey Boylston as Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Andreala, an All-ASUN Second Team selection in 2023, displayed goal-scoring prowess, notably in the NCAA Championship against Notre Dame. Boylston, a senior and All-ASUN First Team member last season, played a key role in Utah's 2023 ASUN Championship victory.
2024 Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Utah (9), 99
2. Jacksonville, 82
3. Air Force (1), 80
4. Bellarmine, 72
5. Robert Morris, 63
6. Mercer, 51
7. Cleveland State, 41
8. Detroit Mercy, 28
9. Queens, 22
10. Lindenwood, 12
2024 Preseason All-ASUN Team
GK - JC Higginbotham, Bellarmine
D - Chris Bardak, Air Force
D - Brian Kallberg, Lindenwood
D - Joey Boylston, Utah
M - Aidan Tolen, Air Force
M - Luke Majick, Detroit Mercy
M - Tucker Garrity, Jacksonville
M - Jared Andreala, Utah
A - Benny O'Rourk, Bellarmine
A - Kyle Playsted, Bellarmine
A - Tyler Bradbury, Utah
BYU Women’s Lacrosse
A Glimpse into the Santa Barbara Tournament Preparations: An Interview with BYU Head Coach Summer Stephenson
Santa Barbara Schedule:
February 02 2024 12:00 PM University of Virginia Santa Barbara, CA
February 03 2024 8:00 AM Michigan State University Santa Barbara, CA
February 03 2024 12:00 PM Cal Poly Santa Barbara, CA
As the anticipation for the upcoming tournament builds, we sat down with BYU to delve into their preparations, aspirations, and outlook for this year's competition. Early Preparations: We inquired about when BYU commenced their preparations for the tournament. The team revealed that preparations began well in advance, emphasizing the importance of strategic planning and thorough training to ensure peak performance during the competition.
Openness to New Players: One of the intriguing aspects was the team's stance on welcoming new players. BYU confirmed that they are indeed open to new members. For those interested in joining the team, the contact details were shared as Contact Information
Tournament Goals: We delved into the team's goals for the upcoming tournament. BYU highlighted their aspirations, ranging from improving team cohesion and showcasing individual skills to aiming for a commendable standing in the overall tournament rankings.
Anticipation for the Tournament: Lastly, we explored the team's perspective on how they anticipate this year's tournament compared to the previous year. The team expressed a sense of excitement and determination, emphasizing lessons learned from past experiences and the continuous drive for improvement.
As BYU gears up for the tournament, the blend of preparation, openness to new talent, clear goals, and a positive outlook sets the stage for an exciting and promising competition ahead. Stay tuned as BYU embarks on their journey, aiming for success and leaving an indelible mark on the tournament scene.
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