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Losses Strengthen Bingham Girls Lacrosse

Jul 06, 2016 11:02AM ● By Tori La Rue

Bingham’s boys and girls lacrosse teams face off in a game after the completion of both of their seasons. –Tori La Rue

By Tori La Rue | [email protected]

At the season’s end, Bingham High School’s Girls lacrosse assistant coach and several varsity players said they were unsure how many games they won.

“We just played for fun and didn’t care about the wins and losses,” Olivia Woolley, 18, said.

“We did a lot better because of that, I think,” Kayla Miller, 16, added.

This season, Bingham Girls lacrosse advanced further than the any other time in Kayla’s three seasons on the team. The team made it to the quarter finals and played the No. 1 ranked team in the state: Park City. The Miners ended up losing that game, and Park City went on to claim the state title for the third year in a row, but Bingham didn’t let that get them down.“It was intense, but we just decided that no matter what happens we made it this far,” Miller said. “We just went in with a lot of confidence, and it was a really fun game. At the end we were not sad about the loss. We were just sad because it was the end of the season because we didn’t want this to end.”

Bingham ended the season ranked No. 7 in the state, with a 9-5 record. Assistant coach Niki Ballou said one of their losses changed the dynamic within the team.

 “Everyone contributed so much, and we played so well as a team that when we lost, we realized that it didn’t matter that we lost; it just mattered that we played as a team,” Ballou said. “It was amazing. There was an extreme mental change—a change in attitude, really.”

 After that game, the team “caught fire” and started to feel like a family, according to Ballou. Woolley, who participated in cheer and lacrosse during the 2015–16 school year, said she found it odd that her lacrosse team was closer than her cheer team, even though her cheer team spent more hours practicing together.

 Woolley attributes part of the closeness of her lacrosse team to the sport itself. She said it lends itself to friendships, which is part of the reason she’s decided to stick with lacrosse by participating in Utah State University’s lacrosse team next season, even though she won’t be continuing cheer.

 With a deep connection to the sport, nothing could stop Woolley from missing her senior year of lacrosse, she said. Even after a cheer injury left her with a fracture in her leg, she continued to run on it during lacrosse games and practices.

 “It was totally worth it for lacrosse,” she said. “There’s just something special about lacrosse. I really love it.”

 Following in her footsteps, Woolley’s sophomore brother started playing on Bingham’s boys lacrosse team, and her three other younger siblings are trying out the sport too. The sport already felt like part of her family, but now her family is part of the sport, she said.

 Sammy Delli, 18, who’s played lacrosse since she was in fourth grade, said she loves the “vibe” of the sport because it involves running, skill and trusting teammates. Delli’s years on the Bingham team leading up to her senior year were hard, she said.

 “We had a brand-new coach a couple years ago, and that didn’t end up working too well,” Delli said. “Then we got a new coach, Jessica Hercules, and that made all of the difference. She cares about us on and off the field. I feel that if I ever need to approach her with something, I can definitely do that, and with other coaches I never really felt like I had that.”

 Hercules’ coaching style and example made it easier to connect with teammates, Delli said.

 In the 2016–17 school year, Delli will be attending Fort Lewis Colorado College in Durango, Colorado, and will be playing on the girls lacrosse team. She’ll be playing with three former teammates, whom she met through club team leagues. And although she’s excited for these new experiences, she said she’ll always remember her time on the Bingham lacrosse team.

 “I can’t really say anything more than,” Delli said. “I just love Bingham Lacrosse.”