The 2011 Girls D-I Championship game was once again won by the Alta Hawks against the Bingham Miners, Saturday afternoon in Park City. The Hawks defeated the Miners 12-6.
Binghams’ Niki Ballou scored the first goal early on in the match, which made many veteran spectators just hope for a good and exciting match between the two teams. Alta has been a powerhouse for years now. The championship game last year between Alta and Riverton ended in a painful score of 19-3, so many were hoping for at least a closer game. But alas, Alta answered that first goal by a run of five goals from Malia Stephens, Nancy Linford, Regina Farley, Hannah Choi, and another from Linford. It seems to be Alta’s M.O., to get scored on first and take a few minutes to find their groove. Ever since that championship game last year, it has been very common for Alta to be the second to score.
Binghams’ Brooke Tate finally answered with goal bringing the score to 5-2 Alta. The ball went back and forth with many shots on goal. Both goalies had exceptional saves. An offsides call against Alta with about 6:40 to go in the half gave Bingham a one man up advantage for a run to goal where Junior Brooke Tate saw the net again to bring the score to 5-3. Linford found an opening and scored for Alta with four minutes to go in the half. Bingham Senior Niki Ballou quickly answered back with a goal. Alta got the ball down to their end and took a quick shot and goal only to be taken away due to a shooting space violation against Bingham. Alta did not capitalize on that 8-meter shot, but did capitalize on draw controls for the rest of the half and two more goals by Linford before half-time moving the score to 8-4 Alta.
Bingham came out strong and again scored the first point of the half by Tate. Alta’s Regina Farley was able to counter it with a quick goal. Bingham gained possession and Alta’s Angie Olsen received a yellow card for a defensive foul. Bingham was unable to capitalize on the three minute man up lead, and let Alta through for three more goals by Carly Steadman, Hannah Choi, and Mackenzie Sieverts The only shot they were able to manage in the penalty period was an unlucky post shot. Alta’s Nancy Linford was soon after issued a semi-rare yellow card on offense for dangerous propelling. Bingham was however able to capitalize in this man up situation and Carly Beach with an assist by Morgan Judd found the net, putting the score at 12-6 where it would remain for the remainder of the match, giving Alta their third straight title.
“As most championships seem to go, there were times of brilliance and times of chaos,” said Alta Head Coach Megan Gorringe. “As much as you’d like them to, championships don’t usually seem like normal games. I give Bingham full credit for being able to put pressure on us that we haven’t had in a long time. However, my girls kept fighting the entire time and were able to come out on top. This one meant a lot to all of us involved. There were many happy tears shed on Saturday night. We’ve been through a lot as a team this year and the level of play in the state is far improved over last year so being able to have another undefeated season and three-peat was an incredible experience. I’m so proud and happy for my girls and what they have accomplished. This season, we had more injuries, illness, and surgeries than any other year with many players missing weeks at a time. In addition, our players and program have been under scrutiny the past few years with many eyes on my girls waiting and hoping for them to crumble. This year, more than ever before, every team we played brought us their very best and my girls took every challenge head on. Especially during playoffs, they played without fear because they just got to go out and do what they love to do, play lacrosse as a team. We focused on enjoying every minute and giving 100% all the time and that is how we defined success, not by the scoreboard. We are fortunate and grateful that with the level of talent on this team giving our best led to another championship. It’s an honor to be able to work with girls of this caliber, wonderful parents and coaches, and to have a dedicated assistant coach who did not miss a day this year. My players are all-around great girls and it’s awesome to see them rewarded, as a TEAM, for their many years of hard work. 2011 will not soon be forgotten by Alta Girls Lacrosse!”
Alta was led by Linford who really took control of the attack and proved that she really deserves her DI Offensive MVP award with five goals and one assist. Farley and Choi each had two, and Sieverts, Steadman, and Stephens with one. Goalie Kylie Pace with seven saves. Coach Gorringe beamed of Pace “she had a phenomenal game. She really was playing her very best lacrosse the last two games.”
Bingham was led by Tate with three goals, Ballou with two, and Beach with one.