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South Valley Riverton Journal

2024 girls lacrosse: so far, so great for Riverton

Apr 09, 2024 02:30PM ● By Josh McFadden

The Riverton girls lacrosse team won its first four games of the season and could be in the mix for a region title. (Photo courtesy Jocelyn Dorton)

There’s a long way to go this season, but in the early going, the Riverton girls lacrosse team looks like a contender.

The Silverwolves won their first four games, outscoring their foes 80-23. Two of these wins came in Region 2 play, with Riverton coming out victorious over Corner Canyon 20-13 on March 19 and at home against Copper Hills on March 21 by the lopsided count of 20-1. 

Both the offense and defense have been excellent so far. 

Through four games, the Silverwolves had plenty of contributors. Junior attack Izabella Blunck was the leader in goals with 17, with sophomore midfielder Maggie Bird and Emma Pennington right behind with nine goals each. Bird and midfielder Kaitlyn Davenport were the leaders in assists with eight. Davenport also tallied eight goals and led the team with 17 ground balls during this stretch.

Head coach Joceyln Dorton is pleased with what she has seen out of her team so far. She and her players have high expectations. 

“I've been very impressed with the girls at practice, and they really showed up against Maple Mountain (the team’s first game),” she said. “We had a few first-game kinks to work out, but ultimately, we have been performing at a very high level. We expect to be one of the top teams in our region this year. Our goal for the team is to win region and make it to the state game in the state championship bracket.”

Last season, Riverton went 10-7 overall and 3-3 in Region 3, good enough for fourth place. The Silverwolves lost in the Class 6A state tournament second round a year ago, narrowly falling to the state’s other Silverwolves, Fremont, 15-13.

As noted by the team’s scoring prowess, Riverton excels offensively. The team returned its entire offensive line and most of its midfielders from 2023.

“This helps in our success,” Dorton said. “[The girls] have all played together for a long time, and every single one of them is a threat on the field.”

To achieve this season’s goals and go further in state, Dorton said the team need to play together as a unit. Getting along on and off the field will be critical, she said. 

“Our struggles in the past have come from discord on the team, so in order to be successful this year, we need to work together continuously and keep a positive attitude and environment on the team,” she said. “I think if we can do that and have the girls learn to work together really well, we can accomplish our goals and make the season a success.”

Along with Blunck, Davenport, Bella Butterfield and Bird, Riverton has other stars leading the team. Dorton is impressed with what she has gotten from junior attacker Pennington, senior defender Abby Hunt and sophomore defender Reese Lewis, among others. 

“These girls have really stepped up to be leaders on the field,” Dorton said. “I see them being large contributors for the rest of the season.”

Riverton is also trying to develop the goalkeeper and defender positions after graduation hit those units hard after last season. 

“Something we are working on is building our defense and goalie,” Dorton said. “We graduated both our varsity goalies and a lot of defenders last year, so we are having to rebuild. So far, I've been very impressed with the girls’ ability to adapt and learn new things. We have a brand-new goalie in goal, and she has really stepped up to lead the defense, and we are excited to see her excel this year.”

The Silverwolves end the regular season May 9 at home against Lehi. The state tournament will be the following week. Dorton is looking forward to watching the girls develop as a unit and individually. Being with the girls is the best part of her job, she said.

“I love coaching this team because of the girls on the team,” she said. “I am continuously impressed with their ability to look out for each other and be kind, good teammates to each other. I love seeing their successes, and I love helping them overcome their failures. Being a coach is the most rewarding job, and I am so lucky with the team that I have.” λ