Already up 1-0 over Ogden, Park City had to stave off a second-half offensive peppering from the Tigers and no play was more critical than Paula Garcia's memorable goal-line clearance.
Park City head coach Chip Cook said senior goalkeeper Skye Mooney came out for a ball but collided with defender Taylor Hodgson and, suddenly, the ball was rolling toward the goal ensuring what looked to be a tied match.
Garcia, Park City's sophomore defender, had other ideas.
"Paula came in from behind and saved it right off the line," Cook said, laughing. "It couldn't have been closer to going in and she was there at a big moment. She was acting calm, cool and collected as anyone I've ever seen. She did her job. It was amazing."
In the end, Park City was able to make Jessica Dancy's first-half goal stick as the Miners atoned for their nightmarish finish against the same Ogden team in last year's 3A semifinals. The Miners defeated the Tigers 1-0.
Park City (17-0-2) is scheduled to take on the Snow Canyon Warriors (16-2-1) at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 1:30 p.m. with the 3A state championship on the line.
"It was really stressful. It was not a big enough lead," Cook said. "We had some pretty tough moments in the second half. (Ogden) brought it to us. They challenged us. It wasn't an easy win. (The Miners) also know they need to play better soccer tomorrow."
While returning to Rio Tinto Stadium is a feat, the still-unblemished Miners did exactly what they couldn't do against the Tigers last year in the same circumstance. Up 1-0 at halftime a year ago, the Miners surrendered two second-half goals and were bounced out of the 3A tournament.
On Saturday, Park City fought for every inch.
"Again, our team plays with a tremendous amount of grit and passion and this never-say-die attitude," Cook said. "They just kept going."
And even more impressive was the fact that they were missing junior center back Cheyenne Turner, who was out with an injury. Cook said 15 minutes into the match sophomore midfielder Lauren Walker received a knock and also had to exit the match. Even senior captain Anneke Efinger, known for her tenacious style of play, was limping after a very physical semifinal match, Cook said.
Junior winger Gretchen Swenson stepped into Turner's shoes along the back line and was able to help the Park City defense keep a high-flying Tiger offense at bay. In 17 prior matches, Ogden had scored 86 goals.
Against Mooney and the Park City defense, Ogden was shut out for the first time in over a year.
"They're willing to do anything it takes and play any position it takes to get the job done," Cook said.
Now, Park City returns to Rio Tinto Stadium for the first time since October 2010, when the Miners suffered a heart-wrenching 2-1 overtime championship loss to region rival Juan Diego. The program is on the prowl for its first 3A state title since 2005, and Cook said she doesn't expect any emotional hangover from Friday's match against Ogden when her Miners face off against Snow Canyon.
"They're so determined and they know it wasn't our best performance today," she said. "We did enough to get the job done, but they understand that we have more to give and they know that there's nothing left to save up for."