e, bye Bulldogs
The Park City girls’ soccer team just can’t seem to get enough of difficult games, but their game against the Judge Bulldogs on Tuesday was different. This time they were able to take on a tough team and one of their biggest rivals and convert their it into a 3-1 win.
"We put the pressure on them," said Park City head coach Chip Cook.
Any struggles the Miners had finishing plays in previous games were long gone in Tuesday’s game as the girls knocked three into the net. Leading the charge was Hanna Terry, who scored twice in the game, and Lindsi Lisonbee, who put the Miners on the scoreboard. The Miners had a few more looks at the goal, which thrilled Cook.
"It’s important we’re creating opportunities," Cook said. "The finishing will come."
Judge didn’t score until end of the game, when Gabbie Matinkhah knocked one in to avoid the shutout.
Still, according to Cook, Judge looked strong.
"They had strong players and they made some good runs at us," she said. "They took advantage of our disorganization at times."
The key to the Miners’ win was playing with focus and intensity. Cook admitted that the Miners didn’t jump into the game quite as quickly as she would have liked, but once they got going they never looked back.
"They’re playing with more urgency," Cook said. "They were creating lots of scoring opportunities."
They were also shutting down plenty of Judge opportunities on the other end. Mara Rabin slowed down Judge’s speedy forwards, while Zoe Van Gorder stopped balls in the air and Lia Margolis contained everything else. The Miners had two players, Hilary Kahn and Brittany Gebo, who are new to the backfield this year, whom Cook praised for their efforts. She also praised the entire squad for what she called a total team connection.
"They did a great job," Cook said. "They were great under pressure when they had possession of the ball. There was a connection between the defense, midfield and forwards."
The Bulldogs hosted the Miners at Sugarhouse Park because their home field is still suffering from a crumbling support system, so the Miners had the advantage of playing at a neutral site, which may have worked to their advantage.
But it was more than just a case of physically outplaying the Bulldogs. It was also an important mental win for the Miners. After starting out the year playing some the state’s best teams and compiling a couple of losses, the Miners were ready for a victory, but especially against their biggest rival. But rather than getting the team all hyped up, Cook made sure the girls were calm and prepared for this game.
"We’ve been trying to approach it slightly differently," she said. "We didn’t want them to get too emotionally involved before the game started. We had them relax a little. They were physically prepared, but not overly excited."
Cook said the win was a key one to start the Region 10 season off with.
"It’s a tremendous confidence booster when you beat a rival school," she said. "It’s a good win under our belt and we’ll go from there."
The Miners will get a chance to play another top Catholic school program when they face Juan Diego on Saturday at Quinn’s Junction. The 1 p.m. game was changed from later in the season after Cook realized that, if the Miners saw them in the postseason, it could mean playing them two weeks in a row.
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