Skyridge comes up short in 6A girls lacrosse state title game
Mountain Ridge got an education in a loss to Skyridge earlier this season.
On Thursday in the 6A girls lacrosse state finals, the Sentinels got a chance to prove what they learned.
No. 2 Mountain Ridge double and triple teamed Falcons’ stars River and Haven Buechner, playing physically on the defensive end to disrupt the Falcons’ offensive timing. The Sentinels also controlled the majority of the draws and held a large advantage in possession.
All of that resulted in an 11-9 victory at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman and the 6A state championship.
“I think we we kind of looked like we’re playing almost like we did last year (in the playoffs),” Skyridge coach COllin Gill said. “We came out a little nervous. We had a lot of ‘My ball! My ball!’ and it wasn’t working. I feel like we had a lot of good opportunities on the attack side of things but we let their defense get set and they’ve got a great defense. It’s hard to defend them and it’s hard to attack that.”
Haven and River Buechner scored back-to-back goals to pull to within two at the 5:19 mark, but the Mountain Ridge defense clamped down. Goalie Eliza White was critical throughout the match and made two key stops late to secure the victory.
“I mean, kudos to them, the whole team,” Gill said. “I think they controlled the ball well on the attack. They had a lot more time of possession than we’re used to playing against. I don’t think we played our best but it happens.”
Emery Clark scored the first two goals for Mountain Ridge, which took a quick 2-0 lead. Haven Buechner evened things up with a pair of goals herself, the second after a penalty in the crease, to the the game at 2-all midway through the first half.
Mountain Ridge, which was playing just a mile and a half from its school campus, took control with its quickness and deft passing, gaining control at the draw and pushing to a 4-2 lead after another goal by Clark with 6:43 to play in the half.
Haven Buechner scored to cut the deficit to 4-3 but the Sentinels turned up the offensive pressure and got goals from Kimber Hanks and Kiarra Clarin for a 6-3 halftime lead.
River Buechner took the first second half draw and sprinted in for a score, bringing the Falcons to a within 6-4. The two teams traded goals but Mountain Ridge surged to a 9-5 lead with 19:18 to play on goals from Morgan Mackey and Paige Runia.
After a penalty, River Buechner scored after a penalty to cut the Mountain Ridge lead to 9-6 and a nice pass from Haven Buechner to Brooklyn Gibson resulted in a score, pulling the Falcons to within 9-7 with 15:34 remaining.
Mountain Ridge was charged with a yellow card moments later but Skyridge couldn’t take advantage, a goal scored by Haven Buechner disallowed because of a crease violation.
The Sentinels (18-2) followed up with a pair of goals to own an 11-7 lead with 10:07 to play.
“This season has been awesome,” Gill said. “A lot of these girls have been playing together for a really long time. It’s been fun to watch them progress and have fun. We had a great season with lots and lots of really fun moments. I’ll miss the seniors.”
Skyridge had won 17 straight games since losing its opener to Park City, while Mountain Ridge had won 10 games in a row. One of the Sentinels preseason losses was to Skyridge (12-9) on March 18.
Haven Buechner scored five goals for No. 1 seed Skyridge (17-2) and River Buechner added three.