Bear River photo by Lorene Hale. Mountain Crest photo by Robert K. Scott.
SALT LAKE CITY – The top-seeded Bear River Bears girls lacrosse team continued their season-long practice of dominating their opponents and the Mountain Crest Mustangs overcame graduation conflicts as both Northern Utah teams advanced to the 4A girls lacrosse championship. The Bears have only lost one game all year (their second game of the season vs 6A Corner Canyon 7-5).
Over the course of the season, the Bears have destroyed their competition by an average score of 17.9 points to 3.4. In the two games they have played in the 4A playoffs, the Bears have defeated Logan 21-0 on Saturday and then Waterford 21-3 on Tuesday in the 4A semifinals at Westminster College. The Bears punched their ticket to the 4A championship which will be played on Thursday at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman at 5:30 p.m.
For the #2 Mountain Crest Mustangs, they were shorthanded in their matchup against #3 Juan Diego in the later game at Westminster College Tuesday afternoon. Mountain Crest High School was having its graduation ceremony on Tuesday and five of the seniors on the team opted to participate in graduation ceremonies with their peers while goalie Emmalee Poppleton remained with her team. Utah High School Activities Association officials, combined with representatives from Mountain Crest High School, produced a small cap and gown ceremony for Poppleton before the semifinal match began. Flanked by parents and family members, Poppleton moved the tassel on her cap at center field before ditching her cap and gown for her uniform.
Because the other seniors chose to participate in graduation ceremonies in the Spectrum at Utah State University, the Mustangs were left without any subs. The entire game was back and forth with neither team gaining much of an advantage. In the closing seconds, however, Mountain Crest scored with the winning goal to defeat Juan Diego 14-13. Lilly Lopez led Mountain Crest with four goals, followed by Lauren Smith and Tylee Henrie with three goals each. Sophia Keller added two goals for the Mustangs with Emily Solano and Astrid Morina adding one goal apiece. Poppleton had eight saves for Mountain Crest.
Bear River and Mountain Crest have squared off twice this season, with the Bears winning both times in traditional fashion: 22-3 on April 14 and 21-3 on May 10.