If a great semifinal round is any indication of what will happen in the championship, fans are in for action-packed lacrosse on Saturday when the high school season comes to an end. Alta High School will be the venue for the best teams in the state take center stage to crown five champions.
Boys Class A
No. 3 Brighton (12-6) will take on No. 5 Juan Diego (17-5) in a rematch of the 2016 Class A Championship game that saw the Bengals take home an 8-6 victory. Juan Diego attackman Chantz Hower drilled the top right corner of the goal from 15 yards out in overtime to defeat No. 1 Park City.
"They were pulled in pretty tight, I caught the ball, saw that the defense was playing low, didn't think about the distance and just shot the ball," said Hower. "It's going to be a great rematch. I'm super excited for it and hopefully we can take it to them."
Brighton cruised to a 19-9 victory over No. 7 Logan on the back of midfielder Justus Peterson who had 5 goals. The Bengals will be looking for its fifth championship in the last 8 years. The last Juan Diego championship came in 2013.
Girls Division I
The Park City Miners earned the No. 1 seed after going undefeated against in-state opponents during the regular season and will take on No. 2 Herriman. The Miners have been to the last six championship games and are looking to become the 3rd program in Utah lacrosse history to four-peat.
The Miners survived a semifinal scare at the hands of No. 4 American Fork who gave Park City all it could handle. Lois Garlow scored with 0.7 seconds left to give Park City the 8-7 win. Herriman beat No.3 Lone Peak, 14-8, in the other semifinal to earn a spot in the title tilt.
Boys Class B
No. 4 Herriman will take on No. 6 Northridge as both teams look to claim its first title in school history. The first semifinal was a nail-biter with the Knights coming out on top over No. 2 Bonneville, 8-7. Northridge defender Travis Fitzgerald made a game-saving over the head check with 7 seconds left that secured the victory for the Knights who were able to scoop up the loose ball and hold it as time expired.
Herriman and No. 9 Waterford had a defensive slugfest that saw the Mustangs come out on top, 6-3.
"We've had a lot of ups and downs with this squad," said Herriman head coach Phil Dunn. "I told them to keep believing in the system and it's led to a strong streak late in the season that has led to our defense being tough and our offense is clicking."
Girls Division II
A first-time champion will be crowned when Olympus defends its No. 1 seed against No. 2 Weber. The Titans took down No. 4 Davis, 10-6, with Roxanne Crandall and Alissa Johnson leading the way with 3 goals each. Weber snuck past No. 6 Woods Cross, 9-8.
Boys Class C
No. 4 Timpview will face No. 2 Box Elder in the opening game on Saturday. The Thunderbirds fought off No. 1 Highland in overtime, 13-12, as Robbie Trewartha found the back of the net on a cross-field pass for the game-winning goal. Box Elder beat first-year program No. 3 Ridgeline 9-7 with goalie Zach Bollwinkel playing lights out, registering 12 saves for the Bees.
Tim Haslam is the current SID for Utah Lacrosse and former Editor in Chief of Utah Lacrosse News.