Even with a slick field and cold temperatures, it didn't take long for the Park City High School girls' soccer team to heat up on Thursday afternoon at the North 40 fields.
Early in the first half against Waterford, senior Gretchen Swenson dribbled up to a spot just outside the 18-yard box and launched a shot that ended up in the top-left corner of the net, well out of reach of the Waterford goalkeeper.
Shortly thereafter, senior Kenzie Bothner finished off a goal after shots from senior Jessie Dancy and sophomore Lindsay Gordon were deflected by the keeper. Dancy would quickly add her own goal off a pass from senior Devon Dunmire to give the Miners a 3-0 halftime lead in a game Park City would ultimately win 5-0.
Park City coach Chip Cook was pleased with the way the Miners played in the adverse conditions.
"Nothing changes with our approach [in cold, wet conditions] except we stress the importance of good possession soccer passes on the ground to feet," she said. "Passes a couple feet off the ground that skip are very hard to handle."
Overall, she added, the team had one of its strongest performances of the season.
"We did a good job managing the game today," she said. "Everybody contributed to the win."
Gordon added a goal early in the second half and senior Hayden Shettig found the back of the net late in the half to finish the scoring for Park City. Goalkeepers Hannah Hyatt and Marina Mayo managed to keep Waterford from scoring on the few chances a solid Park City back line gave up.
Though Waterford is a 2A school, Cook said the squad always gives Park City a good challenge.
"Waterford is a very solid state contender in 2A soccer every year," she said. "There's a great deal of respect between our two programs. They wanted to play a stronger team to help them prepare for the state championship down the line."
After a close 1-0 region victory at Union on Tuesday afternoon, Cook was happy to see the Miners finishing off more of their goal-scoring opportunities.
"It's a little bit scary when you only win a game like that 1-0," she said. "But I think the game was much more lopsided than the score would indicate. We outshot them 49-2, we hit the post five times and we were creating all sorts of opportunities Jessie Dancy must have crossed the ball 40 times that game. We just couldn't finish it. And their goalkeeper played incredibly well too."
Dunmire ultimately found the back of the net in the second half to give the Miners the win.
This week's action extended the Miners' winning streak to four games. A double-overtime tie against Juan Diego is the only blemish on Park City's region record thus far.
The Miners are 7-3-2 overall and have a 3-0-1 mark in region play. They will travel to Juan Diego on Tuesday afternoon before returning home to host Morgan on Thursday.
Cook said there are still a couple things her team needs to work on to preserve its undefeated region mark.
"We have a tendency to still get a little bit impatient at times and we could make one more pass before we take a shot," she said. "We're also always looking to improve our speed of play. Against Uintah [on Sept. 19], that kind of threw us for a loop. They were so aggressive and put so much pressure on us. When you then play against teams that don't put so much pressure on, you can become complacent and a little bit too casual on the ball. You just don't want to get into bad habits."
Thursday's game against Morgan will begin at 3:30 p.m. at the North 40 fields.