Throughout the state there was some high-quality lacrosse played during the 2022 season, but nobody did it better than this year’s Deseret News girls lacrosse Players of the Year.
Only one ultimately hoisted the state championship trophy, but Syracuse’s Brooklyn Suttlemyre, Brighton’s Zoe Heffernan and Bear River’s Jenna LaCroix were elite goal scorers and the best of the best in the their respective classification.
Here’s a closer look at the 2022 Deseret News girls lacrosse Players of the Year.
6A Player of the Year
Brooklyn Suttlemyre, Syracuse, Attack, Sr.
Brooklyn Suttlemyre was a goal-scoring machine for the Syracuse Titans this season.
A year after a scintillating junior season in which she scored 115 goals, Suttlemyre was just as efficient for her senior season, racking up 121 goals to go along with 26 assists and 29 caused turnovers.
“Brooklyn loves to put the ball in the back of the net and she was relentless going to goal for us. She was our QB-coach on the field for everything we did offensively,” said Syracuse coach Adam Suttlemyre.
With Suttlemyre the catalyst offensively, her team finished second in Region 1 this season and then marched into the 6A semifinals by bouncing a Davis team it lost to twice during region play.
Suttleymyre scored four goals to lead the way in the 9-5 quarterfinal victory over Davis, and then in the semifinals she scored five goals as the Titans came up short against Skyridge.
“She amazed me with some of the shots she could pull off, and her ability to shoot at different angles really set her apart. However, what makes her special is how excited she would get for her teammates when they scored or did something awesome,” said coach Suttlemyre.
The Southern Virginia commit finished with 14 playoff goals.
5A Player of the Year
Zoe Heffernan, Brighton, Midfield, Sr.
Brighton coach Melissa Nash loves to go on and on about what makes midfielder Zoe Heffernan such a great lacrosse player, but she believes one phrase in particular sums it up best, “she’s a total baller.”
“She’s going to be a Brighton, and Utah, legend for a long, long time.”
The senior led Brighton to 15 wins and a semifinal appearance, finishing with 70 goals, 22 assists, 68 ground balls and 32 caused turnovers. She added 66 draws as well.
“She’s a fierce competitor with arguably the best stick skills in the state. Zoe is every coach’s dream player: hardworking, self-motivated, humble, selfless, kind and a total baller on the field,” said Nash.
Heffernan will be competing next year at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
“She is dynamic, versatile and extremely consistent, a complete player and a total game-changer for Brighton. As a stats leader and a captain, she leaves behind big shoes to fill but we are so proud of her and will be her biggest cheerleaders forever,” said Nash.
Even though Brighton’s season came up short against eventual champion Olympus in the semifinals, Heffernan had one of her best games of the season in that loss, scoring five goals.
4A Player of the Year
Jenna LaCroix, Bear River, Midfield, Jr.
Bear River ran the tables on a perfect 2022 season, which culminated in a 4A state title. At the heart of it all was standout junior midfielder Jenna LaCroix.
LaCroix record 54 goals, 56 assists, 203 ground balls and 41 caused turnovers. She ranked No. 1 in goals and assists in 4A and No. 1 in the entire state in ground balls.
“Coming into the season I had a feeling Jenna LaCroix was going to have a breakout year for Bear River. Jenna is athletically capable of making things happen for herself. Jenna plays with a relentless pursuit of the ball, but what makes Jenna special is how she is always willing to do what the team needs to help set up the team for success,” said Bear River coach Jeremy Webb.
Bear River beat every 4A team it faced this season by double digits, until the championship against Juan Diego when the game was played much tighter. LaCroix responded in a big way, leading her team with four goals and three assists to clinch the title.
Webb said LaCroix’s unselfishness helped her teammates get better throughout the season as well.
“Jenna goes out of her way to give up her own accolades in scoring, to dish out an assist to get her team involved and when her teammates have success she is just as excited for them as if she was the one who scored. On top of all of this, Jenna always has a smile on her face and is fun to be around,” said Webb.