The Park City High School girls' soccer team didn't quite match its 8-0, 40-plus shot attempt, first-round playoff effort on Saturday afternoon against Bear River, but the Miners did manage to escape Garland with a 1-0 victory to advance to Friday's semifinal round.
In a second-round game against the Bears, Park City once again had plenty of chances, but some bad luck led to only one finished goal opportunity.
"We had over 20 shots," Park City coach Chip Cook said. "But we hit the post square a couple times. We thought they were going in, but that's kind of been the story of our season so far. We're hoping we're getting it out of our system."
The lone goal, scored by senior Kenzie Bothner, would be enough, however, as the Miner defense was impenetrable on Saturday afternoon.
"They didn't have many good, solid chances on our net," Cook said. "We're growing as a defensive unit every day in practice. They're learning how to support each other and communicate a little better. We're just continuing to fine tune some of the things we expect from them, but they played great Saturday."
Cook added that the Park City defense did a good job of controlling Bear River's best offensive player.
"They had one forward who was speedy and she was a challenge," she said. "All it takes is for your defense to get a little disorganized for her to score. But we didn't have any mistakes. They were able to cover for each other and put pressure on her."
With only a one-goal advantage late in the game, Cook said the Miners were getting a little tense when the referee wouldn't blow the final whistle.
"The referee allowed the game to continue seven and a half minutes after the 40-minute mark," she said. "We knew the game should be over, so we were quite stressed out. Crazy things can happen in stoppage time it just becomes stressful. You start getting a little panicky and all it takes is an unfortunate foul and a conversion for a goal and the game is tied up."
But, Park City held on through the stressful conditions, something Cook thinks will make the team stronger for the remainder of the playoff run.
"I feel pretty confident," she said. "We held possession well and they made even more progress on Saturday. We've been steadily improving in our team cohesiveness."
That chemistry, combined with great individual talent, will make the Miners a tough out in the playoffs.
"We just have to keep playing great team soccer," Cook said. "If we do that, I think that, player for player, any team would have trouble beating us. That's the kind of talent we have on this team."
Park City will square off against Dixie on Friday afternoon at Jordan High School. Cook said the Miners will be ready for the challenge.
"I know they're on a bit of a winning streak," Cook said. "As we move forward in the tournament, the competition is going to be a little bit more challenging. We're going to have to rise to the occasion and stay focused for the entire 80 minutes."
Friday's game is scheduled to begin at 3:45 p.m.