Though the Park City High School girls' soccer team fell to 0-4 with a 2-0 loss to Olympus at the North 40 fields on Thursday afternoon, things are beginning to look up for the beleaguered squad.
After a disappointing 4-1 loss to rival Wasatch on Monday in Heber, head coach Chip Cook wasn't happy with the effort her team played with. Despite the loss on Thursday, Cook said the Miners played much better.
"I was really, really happy with this game," she said. "I thought there were some super shining moments and I thought they played great. We were possessing the ball a lot better and we were passing with a purpose."
The defense put in a strong effort as well, Cook added.
"Defensively, in the second half, I think we got a little tired and lost our shape," she said. "But the first half was great we just held it together."
Senior left back Paula Garcia played well on Thursday in a slightly altered role, helping to anchor one of Park City's best defensive efforts of the year.
"We switched our formation around and we're asking her to step up into a slightly more offensive role and she did that," Cook said. "She did a really good job. She's solid back there she's got great composure and she's improving on making smart, good passes. She played great today."
Another standout was Lindsay Gordon, a junior forward. Though the Miners didn't find the back of the net on Thursday, Gordon created a few goal-scoring opportunities.
"She's very opportunistic," Cook said. "She's also super aggressive and quick.
All in all, it was a complete team effort that Cook thinks bodes well for the future.
"Everyone that we asked to fill in at different roles did a great job today," she said. "We created opportunities. They just scored a couple more than we did. In general, we had good things to build upon."
The only negative from Thursday, according to Cook, was that the Miners suffered a few injuries during the game.
Several players were doing some extra stretching and others were icing bumps and bruises during the halftime break, but the biggest injury occurred late in the second half. Bailey Hoglin, a sophomore center back who Cook had put in charge of the back line, went down with what appeared to be a significant knee injury.
"We've got some ankles, some pulled muscles," Cook said. "We're a little bit beaten up right now."
That will make things hard in the near future for the Miners, who still have four tough preseason games left on their schedule. But the remaining games before Region 10 play starts are more about developing as a team, not winning.
"We're missing some pretty key people, including our two starting center backs [Hoglin and Clare West]," Cook said. "So we'll see. I'm just looking to improve upon performances each time and have them do the little things we're asking. As a team, we still need to grow what happens in the win/loss column is beside the point."
Park City played at Lehi on Friday (after this issue went to press). The Miners' next home game is Aug. 26 against Corner Canyon. The varsity match will kick off at 4 p.m. at the North 40 fields.