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Skyridge girls lacrosse elevates performance to beat Syracuse in 6A semifinals

By Jared Lloyd - | May 24, 2022

Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald

Skyridge senior Kaylie Cooper looks to attack during the 6A semifinal against Syracuse at Westminster College in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.

Possession equals victory.

That’s often the equation that determines who wins high school girls lacrosse matches and Tuesday’s 6A semifinal between No. 1 seed Skyridge and No. 4 seed Syracuse at Westminster College was no different.

For much of the first half, the Titans were able to hold their own on the draw and rallied from an early deficit to be in a 7-7 tie with about five minutes left.

Then the Falcons, led by senior Rivanna Buechner and her sister, junior Haven Buechner, started dominating the draws and the result was a seven-goal surge by Skyridge that put the Falcons firmly in control.

Syracuse simply had no answers as Skyridge pulled away to get the 22-11 win and advance to the 6A championship.

Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald

Skyridge players celebrate after winning the 6A semifinal against Syracuse at Westminster College in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.

“We kind of had a rough start losing the draw,” Falcon head coach Colin Gill said. “That messed things up for the girls a little bit but they turned things around pretty quick, which was good. They started controlling the draw and playing their game, and then things started going their way.”

Skyridge senior Brooklyn Gibson said she felt her squad was able to handle the adversity well.

“It was a little iffy there for awhile but we talked things out and decided to play our game a little more,” Gibson said. “We stopped worrying about what the other team was doing and started just fixing what we were doing wrong.”

Gill said he was confident in his team because he has seen them have those moments throughout the year.

“It’s nice to have some of the experiences from those tough games to fall back on,” he said. “We’d been down before. We’re comfortable doing that, comfortable coming back. They figure it out, which is nice.”

Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald

Skyridge senior River Buechner battles on the draw during the 6A semifinal against Syracuse at Westminster College in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.

He said the Buechner sisters deserve a lot of credit for getting the team the possession it needed.

“They’re both excellent at the draw and they both work really well together,” Gill said. “When one is playing center, the other is on the circle. They’ve got it figured out.”

Gibson said all it took was a couple of good plays to get things clicking.

“As soon as we had one good play, we all got really excited for them and for the whole team,” Gibson said. “We got a goal right before half and after that we just felt like it was our game.”

With the win, the Falcons put themselves in position to play for a state title.

Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald

Skyridge senior Rivanna Buechner drives down the field during the 6A semifinal against Syracuse at Westminster College in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.

“It feels really good,” Gibson said. “We’ve been blessed with some great coaches and we have a lot of seniors. We’ve basically been the same team for the past couple of years, so going to the championship together after all the hard work is really exciting. We’re all really excited.”

Gill wants to see his girls focus on being their best and then let the results fall accordingly.

“If we come with that energy and rely on all the hard work we’ve already put in, I think we’ll play really well,” Gill said. “At the end of the day, that’s what we want. If we’re playing our best, I’m happy and they’ll be happy.”

Skyridge will be facing No. 2-seed Mountain Ridge, who defeated No. 3-seed Lone Peak, 15-8, in the other semifinal.

The Knights fell behind early but never gave up, forcing the Sentinels to make some key plays late to secure the win.

Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald

Skyridge players celebrate after scoring a goal during the 6A semifinal against Syracuse at Westminster College in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.

“It just took a while for us to find our groove,” Lone Peak head coach Weslie Lundell said. “But once we found that, they played very well. They have a lot of intensity and effort and drive. They’re pretty good at not putting their heads down. They just fight through it and we’re able to execute off of that and use that aggression to our advantage. It helped us to continue to attack the goal today.”

Although her squad saw its season come to an end, Lundell was pleased at what Lone Peak accomplished.

“Overall the season was incredible,” Lundell said. “The girls played so well this season. They they continue to improve every single day, in every game. And they just really had a lot of fun. Every day they were saying how much fun they were having on the field and at practice and in games. I think it really showed in our games because of how enjoyable the season has been.”

Skyridge and Mountain Ridge will square off in the 6A state championship at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman on Thursday at 7 p.m.

A Skyridge player shoots a shot during the 6A semifinal against Syracuse at Westminster College in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.

Skyridge junior Haven Buechner attacks the goal during the 6A semifinal against Syracuse at Westminster College in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.

Skyridge senior Brooklyn Gibson looks to shoot during the 6A semifinal against Syracuse at Westminster College in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.

Lone Peak junior Corinne Jones (right) attacks during the 6A semifinal against Mountain Ridge at Westminster College in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.

Lone Peak junior Maddie Potvin (right) leaps for the ball during the 6A semifinal against Mountain Ridge at Westminster College in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.

Lone Peak players celebrate after scoring a goal during the 6A semifinal against Mountain Ridge at Westminster College in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.

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