PCHS soccer season ends in loss
May 5, 2015
Traveling to St. George is never easy for schools in northern Utah, but that’s what the Park City High School boys’ soccer team had to do on Thursday for the first round of the 3A playoffs.
After a four-hour bus ride, the Miners were greeted with scorching temperatures in the low 90s.
But, when the halftime whistle blew, Park City found itself handling the adversity nicely and entered intermission tied at 2 with Pine View.
Though Park City ultimately lost the game 4-2, ending its season, Coach Jake Jobe said he was proud of the way the Miners played.
"It was one of the best games we’ve played all year, actually," he said. "It was 4-2, but in the second half, we missed a breakaway, hit the post and had a ball the other team cleared off the goal line — we had some really good chances."
The heat was definitely a factor, Jobe said, but not nearly as big as it could have been.
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"I thought the travel and the heat were going to be big problems, but I actually don’t think they were," he said. "It was really hot, but I thought our boys handled it well. We had a good sub rotation. The heat didn’t change the outcome of the game."
With a couple key players still sidelined by injury and senior Giacomo Castellano playing at less than 100 percent, several younger players got more playing time on Thursday.
Junior Greg Shagen, brought up from the JV squad for Thursday’s game, found the back of the net on a scramble in front of the Pine View goal after a free kick by senior Gunnar Stray-Gundersen.
"He hadn’t played with us hardly at all this year," Jobe said. "But we had a free kick that deflected and he kicked it in."
Stray-Gundersen scored the other Park City goal.
Jobe said he was expecting Pine View to be a very athletic team, and they didn’t disappoint.
"I haven’t seen everybody from the south play, but I thought they were the most skilled team from the southern region that we’ve played," he said. "They’re really good down the middle."
Park City finished the season with a record of 5-9-1. Jobe said he’ll miss this year’s group of seniors, including Stray-Gundersen, Castellano, Alex Jackson, Mitch Martino, Taylor Porges, Wade Quilter, Drew Spink, Alber Cornejo, Peter Bermant, Jared Robinson, Charlie Urban, Connor Cullins and Wyatt Burgess.
"This group is special," he said. "Their first year at the high school as sophomores was my first year with the program. You’re always close to the senior class, but this was a special group. That loss was hard, knowing they’re leaving. This group has been to a state championship and there are some college players in this group. They’ve definitely laid the groundwork and created the legacy for the younger players to live up to."
Next year’s team will have some big shoes to fill, Jobe said, but he thinks they’re up to it.
"I think next year’s team will, on the whole, be one of the youngest varsity teams we’ve ever had," he said. "Our core players are going to be juniors and sophomores. Luckily, most of those players have been playing and starting this year — this is probably one of the most talented freshman/sophomore classes we’ve ever had."