Final Coaches Polls, Girls U-17 National Team Update
Issue 100 - Also, Utahn Bubba Fairman Helps Maryland Win NCAA D-I Title
Good morning lacrosse fans! Thank you to those who have read over the last year and those who were here since Issue 1! It’s fitting that this is the 100th issue as we close out the 2022 season. Also a big thanks to Kenzie Christiansen who took writing about the girls side head-on! I’m grateful she reached out and contributed in a big way! I’d also like to thank the ULR video crew: Jeff Guckert, Patrick Sanger, Max Nelson and Max Sturgill. I’m convinced we have the most talented video team of any state. Thanks to Caleb Brown a.k.a Cbreeze, Bob McLellan, Ben Haslam and the Larkin brothers for contributing content as well. These guys put in tons of work for the love of the game.
This will likely be the last newsletter for the season so again, thanks for reading. I’ll be more active on Instagram if you want to follow the action there. We should see the girls All-American list this week and the boys sometime next week.
And of course, don’t forget to visit our sponsors: Tribal West Lacrosse (website) & MinersTown Strength and Conditioning (website).
ULR x Tribal West Bracket Challenge
Thank you to those who participated in the bracket challenge. I’ll start contacting the winners today so please check your emails! Any ties will be settled by putting all the first place brackets in a hat and drawing out a name.
Boys 6A - 3
Boys 5A - 0 (winner picked 25/26 correctly)
Boys 4A - 13
Girls 6A - 0 (5 people picked 18/20 correctly)
Girls 5A - 1
Girls 4A - 0 (8 people picked 7/8 correctly)
Boys High School
I have updated the Utah Boys High School Lacrosse Playoff History spreadsheet to reflect the results of last week. If you make a copy, you can sort the sheets however you’d like. Corner Canyon has an 80.77 win percentage in 26 games. Brighton, Park City and Waterford round out the Top 4 overall win percentages. Green Canyon is in fifth but only 6 games played. It will be interesting to track their progress over the next several years. Herriman, Juan Diego, Alta, Judge and Bountiful round out the Top 10.
I don’t normally run an end-of-season coaches poll since the Class A/B/C system would show us who the Top 10 was, but since we are in classifications, I thought it would be fun to see how the coaches would rank the Top 10. So here we go.
As always, a big thanks to Salty Lacrosse for sponsoring our polls this year.
Thank you to all the coaches who voted throughout the year. I’d say this is a pretty good final poll.
No. 1 Corner Canyon once again dominated the in-state competition and raised the bar for our state by beating Cherry Creek (CO), Cherokee Trail (CO) and Mater Dei (CA). The lone loss in the last two seasons came to Corona Del Mar (CA) in double-overtime. If you talk to the Charger faithful, they feel just as good about the 2023 squad. Could we see our first three-peat champion?
No. 2 Park City finished with the 5A state championship trophy in hand. In early April, they had a 3-4 record and a lot of people thought this wasn’t the Park City team we were used to, however, the team only got better as the season went on. Looking back, their 3 in-state losses came to No. 1 Corner Canyon, No. 3 American Fork in overtime and No. 4 Olympus in the regular season. Losing the Trahan brothers will be tough, but the Miners have plenty of talent coming back and should be one of the favorites in 5A next season.
No. 3 American Fork finished the season the best way they could - competing for a state championship. The Cavemen never quit in the title game and scored 10 goals on a stout Corner Canyon defense. This was a senior-heavy squad but has some great young players coming back next season.
No. 4 Olympus finished the year with the best record and season ever put together by the Titans. It’s not an easy feat to go through the regular season unscathed, but the Titans did just that. Hutton Murphy and Camden Rossi are as good as they come and will be missed next season but the Titans return several key components including Charlie Droitsch, Ethan Hartsfield and goalie Caleb Johnson.
No. 5 Davis finished as high as it ever has after making it to the 6A semifinals. The Darts will miss the leadership and goal-scoring abilities of Rhett Rice, but his brother Emmett will look to fill in that gap next year. Add in Eli Greenway and Nick Johnson as well as some nice defensive pieces and the Darts should once again be the favorite in Region 1.
No. 6 Lone Peak will look to be a spoiler next season in Region 4 as several key players return to the squad including Logan Tucker, Ryan Christoffersen and a pair of Sophomore goalies: Brady Bushman and Hudson Feindt.
No. 7 Alta finished the season with a 15-4 record. Those four losses include No. 2 Park City, No. 4 Olympus twice and Cherokee Trail (CO). There’s no shame in that! The top 5 point scorers for the Hawks all return next season. Faceoff man Josh Updike and goalie Harley Kenney return as well. 2023 could be a special season for the Hawks.
No. 8 Weber also finished at 15-4 with losses coming to No. 1 Corner Canyon, No. 5 Davis twice and Fremont. The Warriors will miss Squish Easley but will look to Pierce Brinton and Corbin Alvord to initiate the offense next season.
No. 9 Bountiful lost to No. 2 Park City twice and No. 4 Olympus en route to a great 16-3 season. The Redhawks will graduate a healthy amount of Seniors who were the team leaders this season. Cooper Lowe returns in goal to help the defense while Nathan Horne will look to lead the offense.
No. 10 Green Canyon finished 14-6 which is a sign of Coach Oldham testing the team early on, which obviously paid dividends en route to the 4A State Championship. The Wolves entered the season as the 4A favorite and were 3-5 through the first eight games of the season. Those five losses came to No. 6 Lone Peak in overtime of a tournament game, Mountain Ridge by one in a tournament game, No. 4 Olympus, No. 2 Park City, and 4A Runner-up Sky View. The Wolves lost once more to Sky View but avenged the loss in the 4A title game.
Girls High School
Olympus Girls Lacrosse the Team that Shocked Us All
I was skeptical of the abilities that this team held. I watched their first few games, beating No. 22 Woods Cross 20-3, No. 44 Viewmont 21-1, No. 7 Juan Diego 16-9, and a forfeit from No. 32 Springville. I distinctly remember having a conversation with another coach about how I was skeptical about Olympus’s skills. The other coach disagreed with me and said “ you just have to watch them, they are a great team despite their early competition.” It wasn’t until their battle against Skyridge that they caught my attention. Olympus was defeated by only one point to No. 2 Skyridge. I knew that Skyridge would be in the Top 3 without a doubt. After their one-goal loss to Skyridge, I found myself doubting Olympus once more after seeing their next lineup of games. Olympus with great wins over No. 35 Bountiful 20-3, No. 24 Highland 22-2, No. 43 East 26-0, and No. 42 Copper Hills 21-0. Then once more they had me speechless when I saw they had the closest differential of all teams, all season to the once upon a time undefeated Park City. Then followed by Brighton, the team that I thought would be in the State Championship games. The wins kept rolling for Olympus. Olympus had my full respect and attention after watching them battle Pleasant Grove. I had to see for myself what everyone was talking about. I was stunned by their finesse on the draw, to pressured and connected passes all the way to their diverse shots. Watching their stats throughout the game against Pleasant Grove there were key players but not selfish players. Several players got goals: Eva Thorn 5G, Sara Anne 4G, Hannah Nelson 3G and 1A and Hazel Baker 2G and 4A. Hazel Baker was no ball hog, she had great assists to her trusted teammate and she led the team in assists in this game. Jumping forward to playoffs, they defeated No. 17 Payson 21-4 and they gave No. 5 Brighton a run for their money once more, beating them 12-8. You could say Brighton learned a thing or two from their first game against Olympus but it wasn’t enough to take them into the 5A State Championship against Park City.
When everyone hears the school name Park City and knows they’re a force to be reckoned with. Olympus had the odds stacked against them. People were betting (not money, just talking) that the odds would show in Park City’s favor. When Olympus was down to Park City, 4-1, in the first 5 minutes, as many of us thought “here it is, Park City was soon to win”. Psych!! Olympus came back from a timeout and ripped up the field with Park City, they played smart, trusting each other and played their game. They took it all the way with an outstanding win over Park City by one point. I will proudly admit to being wrong for doubting Olympus’s abilities to compete against the higher-ranked team. Looking back on it, props to Olympus’s coaching staff for how they structured their schedule. They played those lower ranked teams and made their little mistakes with them before they stepped into battle with the “big dogs”. Olympus, congratulations on a wonderful year and way to shock the Utah girls lacrosse community this year. We all can’t wait to see what next year looks like for your team.
This just comes to show you never know who will be the standout, underdog team, that takes it all. Next year (2023) will be the first senior class that didn’t play before the high school sanctioning. A lot has changed and I don't know about you but I’m excited to see how this next season goes.
U17 National Tournament
The Utah Girls U17 team traveled to Cedar Lane Regional Park in Maryland to represent Utah in this year's National tournament. Utah's Coaches were Lone Peak Head Coach Weslie Lundell and Skyridge Assistant Coach Lauren Van Woerkom. Utah battled Ohio where they were defeated, 11-7. Their next battle was a tie with Arizona, 8-8. Second to the last game was against Connectic, with Utah taking the smashing win of 9-7. Lastly, a loss to DC Metro, 15-5. The USA Lacrosse National Tournament has been a traditional event since 1933. With teams traveling from all across the US to compete in a high level of lacrosse. This tradition of the USA National Tournament is the nation’s marquee college recruiting event. All players participating in the National tournament must try out for the regional team in order to attend. The Utah girls lacrosse team had to go through a series of drills and plays while being ranked by some of the top coaches in Utah. Each coach scores the players and then sends it to USA Lacrosse to construct the Utah team. Utah ended in Indigo Pool A, No.5 under No.1 South Carolina, No. 2 Texas, No.3 DC Metro and No. 4 Western NY. No. 1 South Carolina was undefeated. They beat Texas 10-9, DC Metro 14-8, Western NY 13-3 and Ohio 12-4.
Coach Weslie Lundell and Coach Lauren Van Woerkom told us in better detail about the Utah U17 fun adventure in Maryland, “Day one started off crazy, hectic, and exhausting but come game time the weather was beautiful and we couldn’t have asked for better! So much better than what we saw all season! The team went up against solid competition, walking away with 1 W, 1 T, and 2 Ls but we still had fun. Even though they know each other, most of these girls have never played together let alone practiced together, due to how everyone’s season schedules, so considering how much time they’d all really spent practicing as a team, they played exceptionally well! The girls we had are incredible athletes and even more so they’re incredible people. The talent they have is something I wish we could’ve had a much longer period of time to build on instead of one weekend!
The highlight of the girls trip was the comeback watching the NCAA D1 Women’s National tournament finishing with attending the Championship game between Boston College and UNC! Being able to be in a sold-out stadium to watch high-level women’s lacrosse was something we’ll never forget. It truly showed how fast this sport is growing and what the future holds for these girls.
Lauren and I loved getting to know this team just a bit better and we can’t wait to watch them all succeed on their club and high school teams this year! They’re going to be nothing short of amazing.”
Girls Lacrosse on KSL Sports
As you may have heard me (Kenzie Christiansen) on KSLSports.com helping to announce the girls lacrosse games and playoffs. This is something completely new to me. Thank you all for the kind words, support and forgiveness when I say your name wrong. For myself I’ve seen the game as a player, coach, official, new to news writing and now looking through the screen co-announcing the game. We want to grow our broadcasting of the girls game this next Spring (2023). Watch, Like, Follow and Share the games to help grow the girls lacrosse game. Plus it’s a big flex to have up to hundreds and thousands of people watching you play/coach live! Not many other players and coaches can say they have that kind of support and love from their community.
Girls Summer Clubs
Tornadic Force (Layton) 2029-2023
Utah Elevate (Salt Lake) 2028-2023
Utah Lynx (Salt Lake) 2025-2023
Tenacity (Salt Lake City) 2026-2023
Force Lacrosse (Sandy) 2029-2023
Wasatch (Draper) 2025-2023
Utah Liberty (Lehi) 2027-2023
Maximum Lacrosse (Herriman) 2029-2023
Congrats to Bubba Fairman (Brighton) and the Maryland Terrapins for winning the 2022 NCAA D-I National Championship game. Please read the caption of this Instagram post. Are you doing what is best for the group?
The Utah Lax Report podcast is sponsored by GroupSpot. Whether you’re an organized high school team, a casual group of friends playing pickup, or a fully supported booster club, GroupSpot brings the team together like never before. Elevate your game and get to the finish ahead of the competition with GroupSpot.
That’s it for today, stay safe out there and see you on the sidelines!
— Tim Haslam (Intro/Boys/Mens) & Kenzie Christiansen (Girls)
What a year in lacrosse !!! ... Thanks Tim and all the contributors for making it happen ... I couldnt imagine the year without the Utah Lax Report ... Nobody covers the sport like you do ... Thank you, Thank you, Thank you