PCHS girls’ soccer: Miners run regular-season table
October 5, 2012
Once they had thanked their faithful as they do following every match, they jogged back to their sideline to let the moment sink in. That’s when senior captains Skye Mooney and Anneke Efinger found junior Maggie Reigelsperger and showered her with compliments and delivered a group hug with all the emotion of a still-undefeated season intact.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you, Maggie," Mooney told the winger.
It was appropriate since Reigelsperger, one of the top offensive threats for this year’s Park City High School girls’ soccer team, wasn’t expected to play against rival Wasatch Tuesday in the Miners’ home finale due to a lingering ankle injury.
But she certainly made her mark. The Miners rallied to score two late second-half goals to defeat their rivals 2-1 in dramatic fashion and it was Reigelsperger who delivered a bit of stoppage-time magic.
After falling behind 1-0 when Wasatch forward Sharee Woodruff slipped behind the Park City backline and calmly finished a one-on-one opportunity against Mooney, midway through the second half, Park City was suddenly on its heels, trailing for the first time in nine Region 10 matches. The Wasps’ aggressive game plan seemed to have the Miners in check. But once Reigelsperger’s swerving corner kick found the head of Efinger — who calmly snapped a header into the near post to knot things up — the Miners pressed for another.
With only a few minutes remaining in the match, Park City was awarded a free kick on the east side of the field. Reigelsperger stared into the sun, putting her hand above her eyes to shield the glare, before she fired. The ball glanced off the crossbar into the upper corner near the far post.
There was one minor issue: Reigelsperger said she wasn’t intending to shoot the ball. Rather, she simply wanted to send in a cross in hopes of finding a teammate to head it home.
"That seems to happen to me a lot when I’m taking free kicks," she said. "I saw the keeper go up to get it and I thought she was going to punch it out, but then I saw it hit the crossbar, and when it went in, I just jumped up and was really excited."
She wasn’t the only one.
The Park City bench erupted as players sprinted off their seats in celebration as the Miner fans on the east side of the field jumped in jubilation.
The Miners had completed a stunning comeback.
"It was a great character builder for our team," said Park City head coach Chip Cook. "It was an incredible thing to see with this group. Not only did they not get sad and cry and give up and yell at each other, but they just got mad and pushed harder."
Appropriately on Senior Day, it was team captain Efinger who gave the Miners life with a clutch header to knot the match up at 1-1.
"She deserved it," Cook said. "She just does anything we ask her to and with a toughness that not many kids have."
Cook admitted she didn’t expect to have Reigelsperger on the pitch Tuesday after an ankle sprain forced the junior to miss last Thursday’s 2-1 win over Judge Memorial.
"Last night she said, ‘Maybe 10 minutes,’ of the entire game," Cook said. "Maggie’s an important player for us. She provides a lot of offensive spark." A spark that delivered another Region 10 title back to a storied Park City program that struggled in region play a year ago, going 6-4.
On Thursday night in Draper, the Miners completed their undefeated regular season, defeating Juan Diego 3-2 in overtime to finish 14-0-2. Park City has now won 12 consecutive matches.
"Of course we wanted to keep our unbeaten streak going, but the win to me was less about the unbeaten streak and more about the way we went about getting it," Cook said Tuesday. "They never got down on each other.
"These are the ones you grow from. They were so happy. It helps you grow as a team. Last year we had some tough times, but I didn’t feel like we were in the same frame of mind to be able to take it and grow from it. This year, I think we are."