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High school girls lacrosse: Olympus bests Park City in likely 5A championship preview

Olympus’ Hannah Nelson avoids Park City’s Sophie Neff as they play lacrosse in Park City on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Olympus won 13-8.
Olympus’ Hannah Nelson avoids Park City’s Sophie Neff as they play lacrosse in Park City on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Olympus won 13-8. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Few rivalries across the state in any sport can match the intensity between the Olympus Titans and the Park City Miners girls lacrosse teams.

The Titans and Miners are arguably the two best teams in the state this year and they were championship foes in 2022 and 2023, with Olympus winning in 2022 and Park City in 2023.

Before their showdown on Wednesday, both teams had suffered only a single loss, each falling to Foothill High School in California. Additionally, both had maintained flawless records against Utah opponents.

So, the 13-8 road victory on Wednesday held significant meaning for the Titans, marking their first-ever win against Park City on the road.

Olympus got a leg up over Park City in its faceoffs. The Titans gained possession after nearly every faceoff in the first half, making life much harder on the Miners.

Olympus head coach Zana Spratling said she knew retaining possession was crucial against Park City.

“Dominating is what we talked about as coaches before the game started,” said Spratling. “We knew in this game it would be important to retain possession because Park City is a really good team. So, we knew we had to win the draw and control the game and the flow. I’m just grateful my girls could do it.”

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Olympus’ Sarah Anne works against Park City’s Lily Yatkeman as they play lacrosse in Park City on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Olympus won 13-8. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
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Olympus’ Hannah Nelson avoids Park City’s Sophie Neff as they play lacrosse in Park City on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Olympus won 13-8. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
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Olympus’ Lily Nelson tries to get away from Park City’s Lily Yatkeman as they play lacrosse in Park City on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Olympus won 13-8. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
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Olympus players celebrate after they defeated Park City in a lacrosse game in Park City on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Olympus won 13-8. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
0501girlslacrosse.spt
Park City and Olympus girls play lacrosse in Park City on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Olympus won 13-8. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
0501girlslacrosse.spt
Park City and Olympus girls play lacrosse in Park City on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Olympus won 13-8. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
0501girlslacrosse.spt
Park City and Olympus girls play lacrosse in Park City on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Olympus won 13-8. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
0501girlslacrosse.spt
Park City and Olympus girls play lacrosse in Park City on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Olympus won 13-8. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
0501girlslacrosse.spt
Park City and Olympus girls play lacrosse in Park City on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Olympus won 13-8. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
0501girlslacrosse.spt
Park City and Olympus girls play lacrosse in Park City on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Olympus won 13-8. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
0501girlslacrosse.spt
Park City and Olympus girls play lacrosse in Park City on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Olympus won 13-8. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
0501girlslacrosse.spt
Park City and Olympus girls play lacrosse in Park City on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Olympus won 13-8. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
0501girlslacrosse.spt
Park City and Olympus girls play lacrosse in Park City on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Olympus won 13-8. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
0501girlslacrosse.spt
Park City and Olympus girls play lacrosse in Park City on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Olympus won 13-8. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
0501girlslacrosse.spt
Park City and Olympus girls play lacrosse in Park City on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Olympus won 13-8. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
0501girlslacrosse.spt
Park City and Olympus girls play lacrosse in Park City on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Olympus won 13-8. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
0501girlslacrosse.spt
Park City and Olympus girls play lacrosse in Park City on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Olympus won 13-8. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
0501girlslacrosse.spt
Olympus’ Hannah Nelson works to get off a shot with Park City’s Megan Magee defending as they play lacrosse in Park City on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Olympus won 13-8. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
0501girlslacrosse.spt
Park City and Olympus girls play lacrosse in Park City on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Olympus won 13-8. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
0501girlslacrosse.spt
Park City and Olympus girls play lacrosse in Park City on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Olympus won 13-8. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
0501girlslacrosse.spt
Park City and Olympus girls play lacrosse in Park City on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Olympus won 13-8. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
0501girlslacrosse.spt
Park City and Olympus girls play lacrosse in Park City on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Olympus won 13-8. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
0501girlslacrosse.spt
Park City and Olympus girls play lacrosse in Park City on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Olympus won 13-8. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
0501girlslacrosse.spt
Park City and Olympus girls play lacrosse in Park City on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Olympus won 13-8. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
0501girlslacrosse.spt
Park City and Olympus girls play lacrosse in Park City on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Olympus won 13-8. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
0501girlslacrosse.spt
Park City and Olympus girls play lacrosse in Park City on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Olympus won 13-8. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
0501girlslacrosse.spt
Park City and Olympus girls play lacrosse in Park City on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Olympus won 13-8. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Olympus capitalized quickly on its early possessions with four goals in the first quarter. Titans’ Hannah Nelson got the offense rolling early with three goals of her own in the opening five minutes of the game.

“We’ve been working for this the whole season,” said Nelson. “This whole week we’ve just been getting mentally ready because we have the skills, we just needed to get into the mindset, and we came out strong which is what we need to do so we hit it off right away.”

Nelson helped finish off the first half with a goal in the second quarter off a steal, and a goal at the buzzer from Lizzie Anne boosted Olympus to an 8-5 halftime lead.

In the second half, Park City increased its effort to clog passing lanes and limit Olympus’ possession of the ball.

The Miners scored two goals in the third quarter and Coco Crawford scored in the opening minute of the fourth quarter to put the game within 9-8. For the first time since the opening whistle, Park City was within reach.

“We knew they were coming,” said Nelson. “We just said, ‘Hey, let’s get going, let’s step on the gas,’ and that’s what we did. We knew we had to or else they would come back.”

Olympus then went on a scoring spree with four goals to end the quarter and take home the 13-8 victory.

The win marked the first time that Olympus had ever beaten the Miners in Park City.

“I mean I played them here for the first two years and we lost, so it feels so good to be here and win because that’s never happened before,” said Nelson. “I’m just proud of our team because we finally put together all of our skills and we won by doing that.”

With only two weeks remaining until the playoffs, Spratling said she was grateful for the opportunity to see what they needed to work on in that time.

“I feel like this is my favorite game of the season every year, just because I never know what’s going to happen,” she said. “Preparatory-wise, looking towards the end of the season, now we know what we need to work on. We know where we look really good and where our weaknesses are.”