Going all the way back to February’s team tryouts, Fremont girls lacrosse coach Seth Jones believed there was state championship material on his roster outside of one massive question mark — defense.

He fully believed in the attacking talent on his team, but his defense was young and they’d have to grow up fast to compete with some of the bigger programs in Salt Lake and Utah County.

Jones’ belief became a reality Thursday afternoon at Zions Bank Stadium in the 6A state championship. No. 2 seed Fremont jumped out to a huge lead in the first half and then held off a furious rally from No. 4 seed Mountain Ridge as it claimed its first state championship in school history with the 11-10 victory.

“They just played like a team, that’s been the whole philosophy. It’s 12 wolves, one pack. They played like a pack today, and it was just good, clean lacrosse. When they play together, no heroes, everybody steps up and gets the job done,” said Jones.

Fremont beat Farmington 12-11 in the semifinals earlier this week, but early in Thursday’s championship it looked like the Silverwolves would be able to coast to the championship as it closed the first half on an 8-0 run. It opened the second half with the first goal to grab an 11-3 lead.

Azlyn Williams scored four of those 11 goals, while McKaylee Sargent — the triple overtime hero from the semifinals — added three goals and two assists.

“It’s amazing cause we’ve never been able to make it this far for Fremont and to be a part of the team and to be able to make it to state and win is really amazing,” said Williams.

After Sargent’s goal at the 8:24 mark of the third quarter pushed the lead to 11-3, urgency started to set in for Mountain Ridge, last year’s runner-up to Lone Peak.

Up until that point, Mountain Ridge’s explosive attack that had scored 269 goals just couldn’t get anything going, particularly its top two goal scorers — Emmery Clark and Olivia Cannon. Jones said it was the result of Fremont’s consistent improvement defensively all season.

“We don’t guard them anymore than anybody else. When our defense steps on the field they’re just ready to play who it is. Doesn’t matter who it is, doesn’t matter if it’s the top scorer in the state, they go out and play hard D,” said Jones.

Mountain Ridge’s attack slowly started to find a rhythm.

Kimber Hanks, Taylie Anderson and Clark all scored by the end of the third quarter as the Sentinels trimmed the deficit to 11-6.

Cannon and Clark then scored early in the fourth quarter to whittle the lead to 11-8.

“It was stressful,” admitted Williams.

As Jones said, “We were barely hanging on.”

Thanks to some big saves by Fremont goalie MacKenzie Souza, Mountain Ridge didn’t score from the 6:48 mark when Clark scored to make it 11-8 until there was just 42 seconds left in the game when Taya Chalk scored to cut the lead to 11-9.

After Mountain Ridge won the draw, Chalk scored again with 19 seconds left, giving the Sentinels hope. The hope nearly became reality after controlling the draw again, but Fremont’s defense didn’t allow a shot in those final seconds as the Wolves could finally breath a sigh of relief and celebrate the championship.

Jones had high praise for all of his players after the game, particularly for middie Raina Button, who showed relentless work on both sides of the ball.

“Her hard work and stamina that she shows every game is ridiculous,” said Jones.

Souza’s play in the cage was ridiculous as well late in the game as she finished with 15 saves.