A glance at Wednesday afternoon's stat sheet shows that the Richfield goalkeeper made 34 saves against the Park City High School girls' soccer team at the North 40 fields in the first round of the 3A playoffs. And, after noticing that Park City's fifth-minute goal was called off due to an offside penalty, one might think the Miners had a difficult afternoon.
But, that couldn't have been further from the truth. The Miners scored early and often in an 8-0 romp over the Wildcats.
After the early penalty, the Miners were quick to rebound as sophomore Lindsay Gordon took a pass from junior A.J. Casey and buried the shot in the bottom right corner of the goal.
In the 18th minute, senior Kenzie Bothner sent another shot past the Richfield keeper after four deflected Park City attempts. And, just before halftime, Bothner set up senior Jessie Dancy for a goal to send the Miners into the break leading 3-0.
Bothner and Gordon each scored quickly in the second half, both off of assists from senior Maggie Reigelsperger. Senior Hayden Shettig, junior Laura Lyons and Reigelsperger would all add goals of their own in the final 40 minutes of play.
The Miners have struggled to finish opportunities in several games over the course of the season, so putting plenty of shots on goal was a big focus for them in this game, Bothner said.
"I think we were just trying to come out hard," she said. "That's the right mentality to have all throughout the playoffs. We did a good job of finishing our chances this game.
Park City coach Chip Cook agreed, saying the Miners keep improving as the season wears on.
"We finished our opportunities and finished on a couple corners, too," she said. "So, in general, I'm very, very happy."
She said Gordon's effort was one of the best she's seen from the young sophomore, who she thinks has the potential to be even better in future years.
"Her pursuit of the ball is what gives her a lot of opportunities," she said. "We've been working hard with her on striking the ball a little bit better and also playing a slightly more advanced tactical game. She's quite speedy and sometimes she relies on that too much. But she's been doing quite well."
Paired with another multi-goal scorer like Bothner certainly helps, Cook added.
"Kenzie is just a world-class athlete who can run all day," she said. "She's extremely fit and very, very smart. She's a dangerous player."
With the convincing first-round victory, the Miners earned a road date against Bear River for the second round of the playoffs. Dancy said a continued focus on putting the ball in the back of the net will be necessary for additional success.
"We're not going to have as many chances in upcoming games," she said. "We need to make sure that on the one chance we get, we take advantage of it."
Saturday's game against Bear River in Garland is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. Dancy said Park City is going to come out and play even harder in that match.
"We need to make sure we play harder every game because every game obviously is going to get more difficult," she said. "Our mentality needs to be the same we need to finish our chances and get the goals."
"It's team elimination at this point," Bothner added. "So if we want it, we'd better come out and show it. But I think we have what it takes to win state."