Miners soccer downs pesky Utes
March 28, 2014
Garrett Magie finally got the pass he wanted with just under 34 minutes remaining in Wednesday afternoon’s Park City High School boys’ soccer game against Uintah at Dozier Field.
When Sully Tesch saw Magie streaking towards the goal, he lofted the ball into the space just behind the Uintah defenders, letting Magie use his speed to reach the ball before the goalkeeper.
As Magie and the goalkeeper raced toward the ball, a collision was inevitable. But Magie was able to get there first, tapping a shot into the goal before running into the diving keeper and flying head over heels onto the turf.
It didn’t take him long to bounce back up, though. After all, he had just broken a 1-1 tie and scored the deciding goal in what would eventually be a 3-1 Park City victory.
"I’d been asking for that pass the entire first half," Magie said. "I was like, ‘Guys, play me that ball, play me that ball.’ Finally, Sully just looked up and hit it. It was a great ball from Sully."
Though the Miners secured the two-goal win, both Magie and Park City coach Jesse Blais were impressed with how much Uintah has improved since last year.
"They showed me that they’re athletes," Blais said. "They worked hard and they have a lot more skill than last year. They made a lot of improvements and really put the pressure on us."
"They’re a great team," Magie added. "They came out hard. I’d say they’re the most-improved team. I’ve never seen them play so well."
Giacomo Castellano got the Miners on the board with 26 minutes remaining in the first half, launching a pass from Tesch past the Uintah keeper.
But the Utes would answer three minutes later off a corner kick, beating Park City keeper Charlie Urban to send the game into halftime tied.
"We gave up another [goal off a] corner kick," Blais said. "That’s something we’ve struggled with this year. We need to tighten that up."
Tensions were running high before Magie’s goal in the second half, with the physical play of both teams leading to some post-whistle pushing and shoving.
But, once Magie’s shot found the back of the net, the Miners could taste victory.
"I stood up and I gave the biggest yell I’ve ever given," he said. "I was excited. That was great, it was a rush."
Tesch was given a yellow card shortly after the goal while trying to settle Magie down. But, Blais said, he doesn’t want to limit his team’s passion on the field too much.
"You have to let them play with some of that passion," he said. "It’s really tough it’s a hard line to follow, but I think they do a good job. It’s on me to pull them back sometimes when I need to. We just need to keep it positive."
"If someone’s getting too fired up, we just tell them to keep their head in the game," Magie added. "I was getting fired up over there and Jesse was saying to stay positive. He does a great job keeping us in the game. We’re all very emotional and we all want to win, but we’ve got to stay focused."
Gunnar Stray-Gundersen scored off a pass from Castellano to put the game out of reach with 12:30 left in the second half, Connor Dawson, who played in goal during the second half for the Miners, held the Utes scoreless.
Magie praised the back half of the Miners’ squad for keeping Uintah contained.
"We’ve got a great defense," he said. "Noah Pack and the guys hold it down strong back there. Our defense is very strong this year."
The Miners improved to 4-3 overall (2-0 in Region 10) with the win. They’ll be back on the field April 2 at Union. Their next home game is scheduled for Saturday, April 5, at 1:30 p.m.
"We have a little bit of a break," Blais said. "That’s nice because that game will be big."
He added that his team will work on giving opponents different looks offensively.
"Sometimes we can get a little predictable," he said. "Teams know that we can move the ball in the back and they know how we like to pass and move. Sometimes we need to change that up. We’ll work on some creativity and also our defensive marking, so we can stop giving up corner kicks."