Girls lacrosse teams back on fieldApr 08, 2022 09:22AM ● By Catherine Garrett
Farmington’s Alexa Stephens (35) drives through an out-stretched Davis defense. The limber Dart protection service held on to win 8 - 6 in girls lacrosse action. Photo by Roger V. Tuttle
n its second year of sanctioned play, the girls lacrosse teams will now compete in their own classification rather than the three UHSAA divisions from last season.
The Region 1 champions return with three collegiately-bound players in seniors Ava Bair, Macie Wood and Morgan Bunch. Along with their leadership, second-year head coach Makenzie Hekking said returning juniors Ruby Jane Hollingsworth and Emma Williams and sophomores Kaydence Johnson, Tallulah Raser, Gracie Rose, Olivia Lifferth, Jacey Compton and Mackenzie Coleman will also be expected to be key contributors on the field for the fifth-ranked squad.
“We have a lot of new players this year as well,” said Hekking. “I have high hopes for them, but time will tell to see how much they contribute to the success of the team.”
Hekking noted junior Megan Gardner and freshmen Esther Facer, Lily Mickalson and Sydney Plummer as newcomers to watch for this season.
Hekking will be assisted by John Bunch on the coaching staff.
Davis defeated Fremont 11-9 March 15 to begin the season. Hekking noted the solid play of Wood, Bair and Bunch – with Bunch recording 13 saves, Macie “dominating on the draw” and Ava producing 13 ground balls and causing six turnovers.
“It was a tight game the entire time. At one point, we were up by four goals, but credit to Fremont for continuing to fight despite playing most of the second half a player down due to accumulating four yellow cards,” Hekking said. “Our play was rusty and could have been better, but I suspect that they’ll shake off the cobwebs sooner rather than later.”
Against Farmington March 17, the Darts won 8-6. “We were not as dominant on the draw this game, so that is something we will need to adjust and work on for the next game,” Hekking said. “But, our goalie play by Morgan was outstanding. She did have a few failed clears, but she more than made up for it with 15 saves, three ground balls and one caused turnover.”
Second-year coach Annabelle Roche brings back some key returners along with several freshman to continually grow the program that brought an undefeated Region 5 title to Farmington last season.
With the team moving to 6A this year, Roche said she focused on fundamentals and conditioning with her group. “We are excited for the competition and are ready for a season of learning and growth,” she said.
To begin the year, Farmington lost to Syracuse 10-9 March 15 with freshman Lauren Enright and senior Grace Kunzler both scoring three goals while Roche noted the defense of Tai Aston in the game.
“It was a good first game of the season and we learned where our strengths and weaknesses were,” Roche said.
Against Davis March 17, the Phoenix squad lost another close one by two goals. Kunzler again led offensively with three goals while Roche said her midfield player of the game was sophomore Edi Bayles and defensively junior London Tholl.
“I was very proud of how our team played competitively and worked hard until the end,” Roche said.
Millie Urie, Sunny Price-Huish, Emily Pulsipher, Emily Stewart and Eliza Collins are back for a Bountiful team that is continually recruiting and teaching the game to young players.
“The girls did an amazing job at spreading the word about how much fun they had last year and we were able to more than double our numbers from last year,” said second-year head coach Olivia Cope.
.Two of those the Redhawks picked up are Christina Eyring and Megan Youngberg who are brand new to the sport. “They made the varsity team because of their footwork and impressive drive to stop the ball on defense and cause turnovers,” Cope said.
Cope has been focusing on the fundamentals of lacrosse in trying to get her players up to speed for season play.
“I want to pick up where we left off last year,” Cope said. “We ended up with a pretty competitive team even though most girls were brand new to lacrosse last year. This year, with a varsity and JV team, we can keep building on the things we ended with last year and take it to the next level.”
Bountiful defeated East 14-1 in its first game of the season March 16 behind seven goals from Price-Huish and four from Naomi Brice.
Viewmont’s Keely Banks, Hannah Bird and Tory Wheatley return to lead the Vikings’ offensively this season who hope to improve on their quarterfinal finish in Division C a season ago. Head coach Dana Fisher also said Kali Jones and Elsie Tomlinson will be her key defenders along with an “up and coming goalie” in freshman Brittley Gines.
“This is the most excitement I’ve had in a preseason,” Fisher, who is in her second year at Viewmont, said. “These girls have been really dedicated to their workouts and weights and they are so prepared physically. We expect big things out of them.”
Viewmont began its season March 10 with a 20-3 against West Jordan. “We used the game for learning and directing our focus for skill development,” Fisher said. “Our defense played well in shutting down a fair amount of the shots on goal for our backup goalie.”
The Vikings also lost to Lehi 14-5 March 15.
Second-year head coach Sierra Harris returns with a young squad that lost in the semifinals of Division C a year ago.
So far this year, Woods Cross has lost to Mountain Crest 16-14 and Olympus 20-3. l