Miners shut out Union 2-0 on road
April 4, 2014
The cold, unfamiliar conditions in Roosevelt bothered the Park City High School boys’ soccer team for the first 40 minutes of Wednesday afternoon’s road game against Union.
But, after gathering themselves at halftime, the Miners were a different team in the final 40 minutes, notching two goals en route to a 2-0 win.
Garrett Magie got the Miners on the board off a corner kick, taking advantage of swirling winds to create confusion among the Union defenders.
"It bounced off one of their players trying to clear it," Park City coach Jesse Blais said. "So it was kind of an own goal."
Later in the half, Gunnar Stray-Gundersen would solidify the Park City lead, collecting a ball at the top of the box and launching it past the Cougar keeper.
"That was a really nice shot," Blais said.
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After playing a tournament down in St. George and several home games, Blais said the Union field provided a challenge to his team.
"It’s always tough to go out there and play those teams," he said. "It was our first game on grass and their grass isn’t always the smoothest, so it’s tough to play our possession game."
Add in sharp winds and maintaining any sort of possession becomes even more difficult.
"Playing the ball in the air is tough, too, in those conditions," Blais said. "We had to adjust our style of play."
Overall, though, Blais was pleased with the way the Miners battled back after a lackluster first half.
"I thought our guys were not completely focused at the start of the game," he said. "But the second half was much better and we were able to score a couple times."
The most important thing Park City takes away from Wednesday’s game is an unblemished Region 10 record. Now 5-3 overall, the Miners boast a 3-0 region record ahead of an April 9 meeting with Juan Diego.
"It shows we’re on the right track," Blais said. "Next week against Juan Diego will be a real test to see how we’re matching up against our key opponents."
Though the Miners want to avenge two losses to the Soaring Eagle from last season, Blais said none of his team’s remaining games will be easy.
"Uintah and Union have been tough, too" he said. "They have both been considerably improved."
In order to stay on top of their game, Blais said the Miners are going to have to work on keeping opponents from building any momentum.
"We’re going to have to be able to continue to improve possessing the ball," he said. "We have to keep working on what makes us a lethal team."
Blais said the Miners worked on being more creative and unpredictable during the week off ahead of the Union game. There’s still work to be done in those areas, he said, but he’s happy with the way the team is progressing.
"There’s definitely room for improvement, but I was happy with what we were doing right," he said. "The creativity is there, but we need to keep working on the team aspect of things and working together."
Wednesday’s game against Juan Diego is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. at Dozier Field in Park City.
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