The heartbreak of last season prepared Olympus for the perseverance it needed in Thursday’s 5A state championship. Playing a clean lacrosse game was as important as anything else.

A year ago against Park City, the Titans didn’t do that as frustration led to six yellow cards and a deficit they couldn’t climb out of. In the rematch a year later, Olympus stayed composed throughout on its way to a 9-6 victory and the second state championship in the past three years.

“My girls learned a lot from last year’s game and adapted to the refs and the plays and calls, and were able to pull it together and capitalize on clean lacrosse; it made me really happy to watch,” said Olympus coach Zana Spratling, whose team finished the season with an 18-1 record. “Everything we worked on for a year came together, and that was (the) edge we needed.”

At one point in last year’s 12-8 title game loss to Park City, Spratling said her team had three players in the penalty box. In this year’s title game, Olympus had one yellow card.

No. 2 seed Park City jumped out fast on Thursday, grabbing a 2-1 lead after the first quarter and extending it to 3-1 early in the second quarter on Coco Crawford’s second goal.

Unlike a year ago, though, there was no panic from the top-seeded Titans.

“When we had our first timeout, we were like gas on the pedal all the way, we got this. We just did it, we just knew we trusted each other and when we actually have full trust in each other, we can beat anyone,” said Olympus midfielder Hannah Nelson, who recorded three goals and an assist in the win.

After going down 3-1 early in the second, Olympus’ defense didn’t allow a goal for nearly two quarters as it built a 5-3 lead by halftime and extended it to 6-3 in the third quarter as Sarah Anne scored the only goal in the quarter.

Park City had numerous chances to score during the stretch, it’s just that Sydney Rossi was too good. The Olympus goalie made 12 saves, including seven in the second half.

“I think it’s because she plays so big because she transferred from soccer. As a soccer goalie you have to (play) big, you have to get outside of the net; I think most goalies sit back and they stay in their cage and they play small,” said Spratling.

By the time Park City finally snapped its 20-plus minute scoring drought early in the fourth quarter on a goal by Megan Magee, it was still very much in the game, only down 6-4 with 11:30 remaining.

In a blink, though, Nelson changed all that with three straight goals to push the lead out of reach at 9-4 late in the game.

In addition to a win over Park City during the regular season, Nelson also attributed Olympus’ great approach in the championship to the massive scare it got in the semifinals against Brighton. It beat the Bengals 17-6 in the regular season but only 12-11 in the semifinals on Tuesday at Westminster College.

“I think we came into that game not really ready and prepared, a little too confident. It was helpful cause it taught us that we need to get in the right mindset for this game,” said Nelson.

Olympus was actually great in the first half against Brighton leading 10-5, but it was outscored 6-2 in the second half. It made sure there was no such comeback by Park City.

Elizabeth and Sara Anne had outstanding performances in the championship. Elizabeth scored three goals and recorded two assists, while Sara scored two goals but was also massive on faceoffs, with eight draw controls and then eight groundballs.