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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Brighton girls lacrosse 2023 season preview

Mar 07, 2023 03:40PM ● By Jerry Christensen

The Brighton High girls lacrosse team returns to action March 15. (Photos courtesy Melissa Nash)

Melissa Nash, Brighton's girls lacrosse head coach, has a magnetic personality. In her 10th year with Brighton's lacrosse she has succeeded in attracting star-quality coaches and All-American student-athlete talent. 

If proof is in the pudding, the varsity numbers speak for themselves. The team scored an astounding 250 goals last season in 19 games while allowing only 109 goals against them. Two of that senior-rich team (19 graduating seniors) are playing this season at the collegiate level. Two were knighted USA Lacrosse All-Americans. Three were given the rare honor of representing Brighton as USA Lacrosse All-Academics. And one was chosen as 5A Lacrosse Player of the Year. 

The seven coaches have been coaching together unchanged for three years and were named "Best in State" for 2022. Coach Nash's magnetic power is strong. Among the seven coaches (Melissa Nash, Chelsea Owens Worth, Mary Barton Burns, Annie VanValkenburg Reynolds, Veronica Robinson, Ryann Coombs and McKaye McMullin) are 88 years of playing/coaching experience, seven college degrees and three Brighton alumni. 

This year's draw makes Brighton girls lacrosse the largest program in the state. Girls compete for a coveted spot in the JV and varsity teams. "The 16 graduating senior spots were quickly filled with young players ready to step up and be a spark for our team," Nash said. "We have a very strong group of freshmen who were beating varsity teams in our sixes tournament in February. They are pushing our older girls."

"We have two players currently committed to play at the next level. Hannah Bangerter at Southern Virginia University and Sarah Hart at Tiffin University," Nash said. 

Seasoned senior leaders and most experienced players Courtnie Wright, Hannah Bangerter, Lauren Ellis, Mary Stubben and Sarah Hart have earned the right to lead the team on the field this season. 

Expectations are high for the new season that begins with home games on the friendly turf of Freestone Field as early as March 15. Entrance is free and the community is welcome to join in following one of the best teams at Brighton High.