Rule Changes Highlight UHSAA Meeting, College Recaps and More Previews
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UHSAA Rules Clinic and Coaches Meeting
The Utah High School Activities Association held Rules Clinic and Coaches Meeting this week for Head Coaches via Zoom, and we want to extend a huge thank you to Jon Oglesby and Jeff Brzoska for allowing us to sit in on the meeting and observe. There were several good topics that were discussed throughout the course of the Zoom meeting a few of the things that stood out to us were as follows;
The meeting to discuss realignment for next year will be voted on in the March 28th meeting of the Board of Trustees. Realignment is always a hot button issue, no matter the sport and while there is no perfect solution for everyone, this is a good opportunity to let your voice be heard to the board members so they know how important this topic is to our community. No one knows the area and potential of your programs like those who coach and run the organizations, and whatever can be done to inform the board is a win. If you do not know who is on the board, you can find that information here: https://www.uhsaa.org/bot/
Far and away the biggest topic of the meeting was the rule changes to continuous sidelines and end lines.
As you can see in the graphic provided by USA Lacrosse, failure to have a clearly marked center line that runs the entire width of the field, and continuous sidelines and end lines is now a penalty that results in no faceoff and the away team take the first possession. UHSAA is aware of the problems this poses for certain fields and if you have one that is unable to meet these standards, now is the time to reach out so they can make the necessary adaptations before the actual officials show up to the fields and have no recourse but to assess the penalty. Multiple solutions are being discussed, including providing field paint to those who may have turf fields that are not in compliance, so this will be an issue where it is better to get ahead of it instead of trying to avoid it.
Another field change is adapting the size of the coaches area to ten yards.
“The substitution area has been narrowed by five yards on either side of the midline and is bounded by the coaches area.”
Jeff mentioned this will require a second set of cones, so if you are a coach this is something to keep in mind as you collect materials to get your field ready for play.
A few small equipment reminders were passed along as well; metal tipped cleats are not allowed, something that has not become a pressing issue locally but is worth mentioning, and pockets/nets much be completely attached to the head and the side walls, leaving no gaps larger than 1.68 inches in diameter which is roughly the size of a golf ball.
There were also some clarifications mentioned in the full flyer from USA Lacrosse. If you want to read about those, you can find it here” https://www.usalacrosse.com/sites/default/files/documents/Rules/2023-Boys-HS-RulesInterp.pdf
Utah Lacrosse Drops a Heartbreaker After Home Opening Win
Utah Lacrosse dropped a heartbreaker on Saturday to the Catamounts of Vermont in overtime, 14-13. The Utes battled back after falling behind 6-3 in the first half behind the stellar play of Jordan Hyde who notched another hat trick, his third goal acting as the equalizer to make the score 9-9 in the fourth quarter. After Hyde tied the game at 9-9, Vermont reeled off three straight goals to lead 12-9 with 8:41 left in the fourth. The Utes responded with a furious rally of four straight goals in the course of four minutes, capitalized by Koa Todd scoring unassisted with 4:14 to play and putting Utah ahead 13-12. The lead wasn’t meant to be as the Catamounts tied the game in regulation with 27 seconds to play on a goal from Brock Haley. Haley also put the final nail in the Utes hopes to stay undefeated at home with a goal in the extra period on a clear after Utah had a shot on goal with 2:28 to go.
Utah had eight different players score a goal, led by Jordan Hyde with three and Ryan Stines, Tyler Bradbury, and Cody Hart all having two goals. Vermont led the advantage in shots 48-44 and additionally in shots on goal with 34 to Utah’s 24. Utah had 20 saves compared to Vermont’s 11, and Utah had ten turnovers to Vermont’s 15. Vermont controlled the Face Off opportunities 25-6, something that has been a bit of an issue as Utah has only won 37% of their face offs so far this season. The Utes will spend the next two weeks on the road starting with a game at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Md. on Saturday, Feb. 25. The game is set to start at 10 a.m. MT.
Utah Valley Dispatches Utah State
While Utah Valley led throughout, it was a 14-3 second half that put away Utah State in their respective season openers. Preston Burbidge had a monster offensive game with 9 points (5 goals, 4 assists). Blake Yates also had 5 goals for the Wolverines. Max Sturgell held down the Aggie offense in the cage as he saved 6 of the 11 shots he faced.
It was a nice way to kick off the year for Coach Barnhill’s group who take to the road to take on NC State and defending National Champion South Carolina this week.
BYU Opens Season 2-1 After Win Over California
BYU enjoyed an off week after a California season opening trip that saw the Cougars start the season 2-1. Brigham Young burst into 2023 with a 7-1 first quarter against UCLA en route to a 16-5 win. Jake Halversen and Alton Taylor each scored 4 goals for BYU in the win. BYU continued to fight on this trip securing a 14-7 win over USC. Alton Taylor scored 4 goals, and Gavin Taylor 3 to help lift BYU past the Trojans. Nathan Norton in the cage had save percentages above .667 in his first two games. The third game of the trip saw the Cougs have a tough second quarter where they were outscored 8-0 by Concordia before dropping to the Golden Eagles 18-10. Alton Taylor once again scored 4 goals for BYU and Halversen 3, but that was where the offense lacked the same depth they had discovered in prior wins. BYU enjoys another week off before heading to Arizona for their next road trip.
Utah State Women’s Lacrosse Preview
Leading the 2023 version of the Utah State Aggies Women’s Lacrosse team is Head Coach Hanna Venier and Assistant Coach Paige Barney. Venier and Barney are alumni student-athletes from Utah State, with Venier bringing 10 years of playing experience to the table, including four years playing defense for her alma mater. Venier was formerly an assistant coach at Ridgeline High School before being promoted to Head Coach at Utah State in 2022.
The Utah Aggies start this Spring 2023 with a large freshmen class that holds lots of talent. As the team steps into this season they note that they must play as a team and not rely on others to achieve the team's goal by themselves. “One of the goals Aggies have this season is to play as a team and find our chemistry. This team has some amazing talent. The focus is to play smart and use our strengths to our advantage. We’re hoping to make an appearance at Nationals” coach Venier told ULR.
With College Club Lacrosse programs such as Utah State, the teams are primarily run by the student body and Coaching staff. The current student leaders for Utah State are President: Madisen Fell, Vice President / Team Captain: Megan Davenport, Media Specialist: Cora Martinez and Team Captain: Olivia Rindlisbacher. Utah State (among other Utah Women’s teams) are associated with WCLA (Women’s Collegiate Lacrosse Associates) which is organized and run by US Lacrosse. Utah State is in the RMWLL (Rocky Mountain Women’s Lacrosse League) Division within the WCLA.
We’ll have more updates throughout the week as the season grows closer. As always, thank you for reading and we’ll see you on the fields!
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