Late goals move Miners to semifinals
For any team wondering if a tight defense is the key to stopping the Park City High School soccer team’s run to the state title, Ogden found the answer. Despite a trapping defense that shutout the Miners for much of the game, Park City’s pass-heavy, game-controlling offense still prevailed as they moved past the Tigers 2-1 in the 3A girls soccer state quarterfinal match at Quinn’s Junction on Thursday.
Ogden’s defensive game plan worked for much of the first half. The Miners possessed the ball about 75 percent of the time and managed some shots on goal, but a stingy Tiger defense and strong goalie play kept the Park City balls safely out of the net. With few possessions, the Tigers were not offensively productive, resulting in a 0-0 standstill at the half.
Evans warned the Miners at halftime that the Tigers would likely not attempt a shot unless they saw a clear chance near the net.
"I told them at halftime that the only way we’d lose is if there was a stupid breakdown at the back," Evans said.
In the 62nd minute, Evans’ worst fear was realized when a communication breakdown in the Miners defense allowed the Tigers’ Dani Nestoryak to send the ball sailing quickly past Park City sweeper Lindsi Lisonbee and squarely into net for the 1-0 Ogden lead.
But rather than panicking and retreating, the Miners stepped up their offensive attack to try and answer back.
When the Miners failed to get on the scoreboard with about 15 minutes left to play, Evans decided to get creative, switching the tall Lisonbee to the forward position. In the 65th minute, Lisonbee went for a header off of Elli Reed’s cross into the box, the ball soaring over the head of Ogden’s goalie Erika Hunter.
"I put Lindsi up there, because she’s good in the box and we needed a goal," Evans said.
Then in the 76th minute, Reed took a back pass from Hannah Terry and shot it past the right post, giving the Miners the tie-breaking goal.
"When they were up 1-0, you can’t panic," Reed said. "You keep your head up and just play your game so you win it."
And win it they did, with their first come-from-behind victory this season.
Evans says it’s this determination that will carry his team far into the playoffs.
"I don’t worry too much," Evans said. "I have confidence in the team and I know their ability. They could have put their heads down in the last 15 minutes and they didn’t."
The Miners will need to use all the tools they have as they face Dixie, the No. 1 seed in Region 9 and another top contender for the state crown.
"I expect to do the same thing," Evans said. "If we keep possession 75 percent of the game, I put my trust in our chances."
Park City will face the Dixie Flyers next Friday, Oct. 20 at 2 p.m. at Dixie State College.
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