Boys: Corner Canyon Wins Title Rematch. Girls: Park City Begins Season in Stunning Fashion
Issue 84 - Updated Coaches Polls, Game Recaps and more!
Good morning lacrosse fans! Thank you for taking time out of your day for the Utah Lax Report!
If podcasts are your thing, I’ve recorded a handful lately that are really good (in my opinion). Matt Duke-Rosati (Judge/Arizona/Coached at Utah/Olympus), Scott Bingham (Utah State Head Coach) and Matt Schneck (BYU Head Coach). I also am the host of the Utah Lacrosse Podcast and I’ve talked to Captain/Defenseman Rylan Lemons and Attackman Jordan Hyde.
As a reminder, the fine folks at Tribal West are offering 10% off your online order using the code TRIBAL2022 on tribalwest.com. You can order online and pick it up in-store!
Armchair Lacrosse Coach: Mailbag!
Editor’s Note: Thanks to all those who submitted questions!
Q: What rules should be changed in college/high school lacrosse?
A: Simple. I would like to see NFHS adopt the exact same rules as the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse. The major areas of concern from my perspective in the Boys/Men’s game are the clearing rules, shot clock and the crease.
Clearing: The NCAA simplified the rules and took an extra count off the officials’ plate in the spring of 2019 when the shot clock was implemented. The rules committee originally wanted a clock that could display the 20 seconds a team has to clear the defensive half of the field and then reset the shot clock to 60 seconds once a team crossed midfield. However, financial and technological obstacles at that time did not allow the committee to fully implement this concept. The result was a visible 80-second all-possession shot clock. The current clearing situation in boy’s high school lacrosse has an unnecessary extra step when upon valid possession of the ball by the clearing team they have 20 seconds (kept by the Single Side Officials Timer) to get the ball over the midfield line then they have 10 seconds to get the ball inside the offensive box. That second count is done by the same single side official on a hand mechanic. Seems like this could easily be simplified to match the NCAA rules.
Shot Clock: The shot clock is a net positive for a couple of different reasons. First, as noted above the 80-second possession clock takes unnecessary complexity off the officials’ plate and makes things clearer and simpler for everyone. Second, it ensures that the game is played with pace at the high school level to match the college game. Though it is rare to see a high school team with the level of discipline to really slow the game down like the 2011 Maryland Terrapins, the shot clock incentivizes every team to play an exciting version of lacrosse which is a far better brand to grow the game. Lastly, the reasons that made a shot clock impossible in previous iterations of Utah high school lacrosse are, for the most part, gone since it became a sanctioned sport. Every high school team now has access to the same play clock used by the football team which is the same as a shot clock.
Crease Play: The rules regarding the crease play are a mess at all levels currently. I will spare everyone a long drawn-out history of the “Dive” by just saying that the rules committee needs to settle on something soon so it can be adopted by all. I understand and believe that going airborne near the crease area for a goal is one of the most exciting plays in sports. However, the attempt to keep the “Dive” in the game and protect the goalie has led to a level of subjectivity and confusion that is untenable. At the collegiate level, the crease is starting to look like abstract art and the defense has been incentivized to throw attackmen in the goal in order to just see what happens. Not only are they happy to have the goal wiped off and take the penalty but they could even get lucky and have a penalty called on the attackman. See below.
The current high school rules say the ball carrier cannot leave the ground of his own volition prior to, during or after the release of a shot and land in the crease. A player can still legally score a goal and end up in the crease as long as he enters after the ball crosses the goal line and his feet were grounded during the shot. This leaves the officials to make a lot of judgment calls in “bang-bang” situations which inevitably leads to missed calls.
Armchair coaches do not make actual recommendations because that could lead to accountability but having the NCAA match the NFHS rules might, hypothetically, of course, make a lot of sense. You can still lay it out but you can’t do it towards the goal and push calls are a lot easier when you know the attacking player is explicitly trying to avoid stepping in the crease. Just saying
Q: Why are boys allowed to use long sticks before the 9th grade?
A: I have no idea but someone should look into this because I cannot think of a single positive impact that dragging that thing around has on the development of young lacrosse players. I dare someone to tell me I’m wrong…..
Q: Top 5 players to ever play high school lacrosse in Utah?
A: This is the kind of question that can get dicey in the local Utah lacrosse media verse. With that in mind, I reached out to some of the most knowledgeable (and nostalgic) folks in the community for their opinions and a few things became apparent. 1) I should stay focused on boys because I know nothing about women’s lacrosse and 2) frame the question as “top five players ever to come out of Utah (born and bred) taking into account the collegiate body of work.” All that said, it’s still tough and I’m sure we/I missed a bunch.
I very much look forward to your opinions but I plan to follow up next week with the full story on each and why I believe they warrant the ranking so stay tuned next week for the Top 5. - BL
Boys High School
As always, our polls are brought to you by Salty Lacrosse.
No. 1 Corner Canyon - It was a big week for the Chargers who bested Cherokee Trail (CO), 15-8, on Tuesday then beat No. 2 Park City on Friday, 16-8. Up next is Cherry Creek (CO) on Saturday. Whether you’re a Chargers fan or not, it’s time to cheer for a Corner Canyon, even for just one game. The Bruins are coached by Matt Bocklet and were upset in the Colorado 5A Semifinals last year as the No. 1 seed and claim 14 state titles on their website and dozens of alumni who played/are playing at the next level. US Lacrosse Magazine has Cherry Creek ranked as No. 8 in the West rankings while Corner Canyon is No. 7. This is an excellent opportunity for lacrosse in Utah to display its strengths. Go Chargers!
No. 2 Olympus - The Titans beat Pleasant Grove, 18-4, on Tuesday then followed that up with a 19-4 win over Herriman on Friday. Those were nice warmup games for this week as Olympus hosts No. 6 Alta on Wednesday (a potential 5A Championship preview?) and travels to No. 8 Green Canyon on Friday.
No. 3 Park City - The Miners beat No. 7 Lone Peak, 9-8, in overtime on Tuesday. John Trahan scored the game-winner for Park City. On Friday, Park City fell to No. 1 Corner Canyon, 16-8. Park City will be in action again on Tuesday at Bountiful. The game begins and will be streamed by KSL Game Night Live. On Friday, the Miners will head to No. 4 American Fork. Looking ahead, the Miners host No. 8 Green Canyon on March 30 then head to Colorado for games against Valor Christian on April 1 and Cherry Creek (see above) on April 2.
No. 4 American Fork - The Cavemen defeated Juan Diego on Wednesday, 16-3, then beat Bingham, 11-2, on Friday. The lone contest for American Fork this week will be on Friday when it hosts No. 3 Park City.
No. 5 Mountain Ridge - The Sentinels beat West, 20-0, on Tuesday and will take on West Jordan this Tuesday. Mountain Ridge also travels to Copper hills on Thursday before a showdown with No. 2 Olympus on March 29.
No. 6 Alta - The Hawks beat Mountain View, 30-0, on Tuesday then fell to Cherokee Trail (CO), 17-10, on Thursday. Alta hosts Timpview on Tuesday in a meaningful region game then take on No. 2 Olympus on Wednesday before heading to Jordan on Thursday.
No. 7 Lone Peak - The Knights fell to Park City on Tuesday, 9-8, in overtime then beat Northridge, 16-5, on Thursday. The Knights host Springville and East this week.
No. 8 Green Canyon - The Wolves hosted No. 10 Brighton on Wednesday and sent the visitors packing with an 8-3 loss. Green Canyon hosts No. 2 Olympus on Friday then travels to No. 3 Park City on March 30 then to Waterford on April 1.
No. 9 Davis - The Darts beat two region opponents this week, backing up their preseason No. 1 region ranking. On Tuesday, the Darts took to the road and beat Fremont, 16-15, then hosted Farmington and won, 12-8. Davis plays Layton on Tuesday and Pleasant Grove on Wednesday.
No. 10 Brighton - The Bengals beat Riverton, 12-8, on Monday then fell to No. 8 Green Canyon on Wednesday, 8-3, then beat Pleasant Grove, 11-5, on Friday. Brighton will head to Wasatch on Tuesday in the lone game this week.
Other games of note: On Tuesday, Bountiful beat Bingham, 8-7, in overtime. Cole Terry, who was literally all over the field that night, scored the game-winning goal. To begin overtime, it was 4 v. 3 for Bingham as both teams had a scuffle at the end of regulation that resulted in multiple penalties. The biggest surprise of the game though is the NHL-style light show when a Bountiful player scores a goal. You have to see it in person!
There are some great 6A region matchups this week: Weber @ Fremont, Riverton @ Herriman and Copper Hills @ Bingham.
Girls High School
No. 1 Park City - The Miners kicked off its season with a 17-4 win over No. 4 Skyridge and a 21-2 win over No. 8 Corner Canyon. A friend texted me after the Skyridge game because they were a little surprised at the result because they thought it would be closer. Only Park City has entered stats (#thankyou) for that game so it’s hard to tell the whole story, but I reminded said friend that when the Miners return to the championship game this year, it will be its 10th consecutive championship game. It’s also remarkable considering the program has gone through a few coaching changes during that time too. It’s truly remarkable.
Park City nominated Ava Kimche (Goalie) as their MVP of the Skyridge game. “Ava had 8 saves against some tough shooters. She is the true backbone of our defense and came up with big saves when we needed it,” said Coach Clayton.
No. 2 Brighton - The Bengals beat Herriman, 10-5, on Tuesday and will face No. 8 Corner Canyon on Wednesday and No. 4 Skyridge on Friday.
Brighton nominates Zoe Heffernan as their MVP of the game against Herriman. “Zoe played smoothly the entire game. Clean defense and unbeatable stick skills,” said Coach Nash.
No. 3 Olympus - The Titans beat Woods Cross, 20-3, on Friday to begin its 2022 campaign. A trip to Bountiful today then home to host Viewmont will complete the week for Oly.
No. 4 Skyridge - After getting trounced by No. 1 Park City on Wednesday, the Falcons rebounded with a nice win over No. 5 Mountain Ridge, 12-9. The lone game this week for the Falcons will be a trip to No. 2 Brighton on Friday.
No. 5 Mountain Ridge - The Sentinels beat West, 25-0, then lost to Skyridge, 12-9. Mountain Ridge will travel to No. 10 West Jordan on Tuesday then take on Copper Hills on Thursday.
No. 6 Lone Peak - Two big wins (27-2 over Cedar Vally, 18-7 over Riverton) highlighted the Knights week. Lone Peak will face No. 1 Park City on Wednesday.
Lone Peak nominated Eliza Agate for the MVP of their game against Cedar Valley. “Eliza has some of the best field sense I’ve ever seen and she’s only 14. She trains hard, is always asking questions looking for more ways to improve and is a leader to her teammates. Last night she controlled the draw which controlled the flow of the game. She maintained possession when we needed it and was able to create space for some beautiful shots throughout the game,” said Coach Lundell.
No. 7 Herriman - Herriman lost to No. 2 Brighton on Tuesday then beat West on Thursday, 21-1. The Mustangs take on Riverton on Tuesday and No. 10 West Jordan Thursday before taking I-15 north to Fremont on Friday.
No. 8 Corner Canyon - A 21-2 loss to No. 1 Park City will hopefully prepare the Chargers for No. 2 Brighton, on Wednesday. The Chargers will then take on Bingham on Friday.
No. 9 Davis - Davis began its season this week with two big wins over Region 1 opponents. On Tuesday, an 11-9 win over Fremont gave the Darts momentum to take down Farmington on Thursday, 8-6. Clearfield and Syracuse await the Darts this week.
Davis v. Fremont recap: “It was a tight game the entire time - Davis was up 6-5 at the half and ended up winning the game 11-9. At one point Davis was up by 4 goals but credit to Fremont for continuing to fight despite playing most of the second half a player down due to accumulating 4 yellow cards. My girls' play was rusty and could have been better but I suspect that they'll shake off the cobwebs sooner rather than later. Despite the rough play, we had 7 different goal contributors and had solid play by our 3 senior captains - Macie Wood, Ava Bair, & Morgan Bunch. Morgan recorded 13 saves while allowing only 9, Macie dominated on the Draw, and Ava (our player of the game) recorded 13 ground balls and 6 caused turnovers,” said Coach Hekking.
No. 10 West Jordan - The Jaguars enter the poll after beginning the season with a 4-0 record. Last week, West Jordan beat Box Elder, 20-2, then beat American Fork, 14-6. A region showdown with No. 5 Mountain Ridge will take place on Tuesday followed by another tough region test on Thursday as they head to No. 7 Herriman.
“Makena Meyers had amazing stats, 6 ground balls, and 6 caused turnovers. She was a huge defensive presence that affected the entire game (against Box Elder),” said Coach Tomlinson.
Game Recaps (thanks to those that submitted!)
3/15 - Green Canyon vs Bonneville. Green Canyon Dominated Bonneville, 10-7. Bonneville fought hard and played with flawless communication and creative defense in the midfield. The Bonneville players played hard and smart lacrosse, while learning to improve with every game. Bonneville nominated Kelsey McKay as their MVP of the game. “ She is our goalie and she had a save percentage of 50%!” Said Coach Golden
3/15 - Mountain Crest vs Woods Cross. Mountain Crest wins, 16-14. Mountain Crest was patient on the attacking end, with those patients creating opportunities to score. Mountain Crest pulled together on the defending end and had a great double-team in the midfield. Mountain Crest nominated Taryn Durham as the MVP of their game. “She dominated the midfield and excelled at transitioning the ball to the offense,” said Coach Rindlisbacher.
3/15 - Provo vs Copper Hills. Provo took home the win over Copper Hills, 14-5. Provo nominated Libby Jaynes as the MVP of their game. “Libby was consistently in the right place at the right time. She saw the plays forming and jumped on every ground ball, played tough defense, got some interceptions, and had beautiful clears to her teammates. She was fully engaged in every play,” said Coach Jensen.
3/15 - Weber vs Roy. The Weber Warriors dominated over the Roy Royals, 17-6. Weber really excelled with its draw control in this game. Weber nominated Saige Griffiths as the MVP of their game. “She had some amazing dodges/ moves that scored some goals! She was fun to watch and coach!” said Coach Spell.
Utah headed to the nation’s capital for a showdown against No. 5 Georgetown. It was 3-1 for Georgetown after the first frame which left hope for the Utah faithful but a 4-1 second quarter for the Hoyas made the halftime score 7-2. A huge third-quarter for the home team put the game entirely out of reach for the Utes who fell, 16-6. (Recap | Box Score). The Utes are at home on Saturday against Mercer. The game begins at 11:00 am at Ute Field. I realize it’s the first week of youth games and you need to put down your IFA Stage 1 fertilizer, but please do everything you can to be at the game!
In the MCLA, No. 1 BYU beat the Utah club team on Wednesday, 10-4, then hosted No. 2 Concordia-Irvine, on Saturday. It was a great game with back and forth battles all over the field. Concordia led by one at halftime and the teams were tied at 8 after the third quarter. It was back and forth in the fourth, with Jake Halversen scoring the game-winning goal with under 10 seconds left in the game to secure the Cougar victory. Alton Taylor had 5 goals for the Cougars.
Pole Goal of the Week goes to Matt Rahill from Maryland who scores from distance to break the Virginia 10-man ride. That makes it back-to-back weeks for Maryland poles as the Pole Goal of the Week!
3/23 - Montevallo @ Westminster, 7pm
3/24 - Fort Lewis @ Utah club, 5pm
3/24 - BYU @ Colorado, 7pm
3/24 - UVU @ Colorado State, 7pm
3/25 - Northwest Nazarene @ Utah State, 6pm
3/26 - Mercer @ Utah, 11am
3/26 - Boise State @ Utah State, 3:30pm
3/26 - BYU @ Colorado State, 4pm
3/26 - UVU @ Colorado, Noon
3/26 - Utah club @ Montana State, 7pm
3/27 - CSU-Pueblo @ Westminster, Noon
The big matchup on the weekend was No. 5 BYU hosting No. 10 Utah. The Utes pulled off the big win, leaving Provo with a 15-9 victory.
Utah State beat Weber State, 25-1, on Saturday.
In this week’s WCLA D-II poll, UVU took back the top spot.
3/25 - Colorado State @ BYU, 4pm
3/26 - Utah State @ BYU, 4pm
3/26 - Colorado State @ Utah, 5:30pm
3/26 - Weber State v. Wyoming, TBD
3/28 - Lindenwood @ Westminster, 6pm
That’s it for this week, stay safe out there and see you on the sidelines!
— Tim Haslam (Intro/Mens/Boys/Womens/Girls) & Brad Lavoie (Armchair Lacrosse Coach)