Here's a free tip to any of the Park City High School boys' soccer team's future opponents: if you're in a tie game as time is winding down, assign a defender or two to blanket Garrett Magie.
Seriously, you need to be all over him like a cheap suit, like white on rice, like stink on well, you get the picture.
On March 26, Magie broke a 1-1 tie against Uintah with a second-half goal. On Wednesday afternoon, he was at it again.
To set the stage, Park City was squaring off against Juan Diego on Dozier Field. The Soaring Eagle are the Miners' new Region 10 rivals, now that Wasatch (still a rival, to be sure) has moved up to the 4A classification.
After a scoreless first half, the Miners were awarded a free kick just outside the 18-yard box with 17 minutes, 30 seconds remaining in the game. Will Macfarlane lined up to take the kick, and seconds later the scoreboard read: Park City 1, Juan Diego 0.
"It was just outside the 18 and Garrett came up and said, 'Hey, put it on frame,'" Macfarlane said. "I tried to put it between the frame and where someone could get it. It had a little bend on it, so the keeper had to adjust and it just bounced in."
The lead would be short-lived. Less than five minutes later, Juan Diego was awarded a penalty kick after a foul in the box. Tanner Sands capitalized, and it looked like the game was heading to overtime.
But Park City coach Jesse Blais felt like his team was right on the verge of scoring.
"We started winning the ball in the middle," he said. "Once I saw that, I knew we were going to get some chances."
One of those chances just happened to be Magie's. After collecting the ball just beyond the last line of Juan Diego defenders in the final minute or two of stoppage time, the race was on. Magie sprinted up the right side of the field before cutting around a defender and launching a laser past the keeper.
"I was like, 'I really need to get this one in the box, there's not much time left. We've got to get a goal here,'" Magie said. "I just turned [the defender] and, to be honest, I was looking to pass to another player, but it just happened to go in.
"He was just faster than anyone on that team," Blais added. "He gets opportunities and finds himself in good positions."
The 2-1 score would hold up, sending the Miners to a 4-0 Region 10 record (6-3 overall). The Soaring Eagle fell to 3-1 in Region 10 (8-3 overall).
After losing to Juan Diego twice last season, the Miners were thrilled to pull off an exciting home victory.
"It was really big for us," Macfarlane said. "We needed that one. It's going to be a lot harder to win down there [at Juan Diego on April 25]."
"It means the world not only for our region standings, but it was tough to lose to them twice last year," Blais added. "I know that it's going to be between us and them for who wins the region, and I want a home-field advantage for a first-round playoff game."
Blais also noted the strong play of his two goalkeepers Charlie Urban and Conner Dawson and the Park City defense, anchored by Noah Pack, Brad McNeely and Mitch Martino.
"My goalkeepers played excellent," he said. "It's really tough to rotate goalkeepers, but I have two amazing goalies and I think they both are very humble about sharing time. And I can't say enough about my back five [defenders]."
Moving forward, Blais noted the need to keep improving as the season wears on.
"We're just going to have to keep working on everything we've been doing all season," he said. "It's been working. It's just the intensity needs to step up and the consistency needs to step up.
Magie and Macfarlane agreed, adding that they know they need to get better if they want to accomplish their ultimate goal of winning a 3A state title.
"We've got to keep working together," Magie said. "We're a little off on that right now some of us aren't finding other players' feet in the right places. We need to keep working together and keep the mentality and intensity up in practice."
"Staying positive on the field is a big thing," Macfarlane added. "We just need to keep improving and try to peak in the playoffs."
The Miners were scheduled to be back in action at Uintah on Friday (after this issue went to press). They'll take on Wasatch at Dozier Field on Tuesday at 4 p.m. This year, the rivals will be playing for the Park City-Wasatch Cup, sponsored by Wasatch Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine.