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Miners are region road warriors

Through 10 matches, it is pretty clear Park City is among the class of 3A girls’ soccer.

The Miners continued their winning ways last week as they defeated Region 10 rivals Judge Memorial (3-0) and Wasatch (1-0) on the road.

"The team dynamic is phenomenal," said Park City head coach Chip Cook. "Everyone has each other’s backs. It’s really nice to be playing as a team. At this point, we’re just trying to build upon our successes and keep moving forward with the tactical progression of this team. Their soccer IQ is off the charts. These are entire-team tactical concepts that they’re understanding and converting to the playing field."

In last Tuesday’s 3-0 win over the Judge Lady Bulldogs, junior forward Jessica Dancy scored two goals, while junior winger Maggie Reigelsperger added the third.

"At the end of first half it was 1-0," Cook said. "Then we were able to create a lot of great scoring opportunities in the second half. I felt really great about how we controlled the ball in that game. We were figuring out that possession is great but we have to pick our opportunities to move forward.

"The Judge team bunkered down a little bit and it’s kind of hard to break through in the attack when you have 11 players playing defense. (But) we were able to find some openings behind the defense."

Cook said both Reigelsperger and Dancy scored from long range and Reigelsperger’s goal "looked like she was going to put a hole in the back of the net it was kicked so hard."

Senior captain Rachael Papez had a "breakthrough" performance against Judge, Cook added, as she was able to man the midfield and gobble up a number of loose balls and distribute to her teammates up front. Defender Taylor Hodgson was also a bright spot along the backline, Cook said.

On Thursday in Heber, Reigelsperger tallied the lone goal in the second half in the victory over Park City’s arch-nemesis, Wasatch, 1-0.

"In the first half of the Wasatch game, they took it to us a little bit," Cook said. "They were closing us down really quickly and played a good, strong physical game and had us on our heels a bit. That being said, we did have our chances, but finally in the second half we were able to find a little more space."

Winning at Wasatch is a feat in itself. Last year, the Wasps topped Park City 2-1 in overtime. In 2010, the Miners edged Wasatch 2-1 in Heber.

"It’s always an incredibly intense game at Wasatch," Cook said. "I know that a soccer field is a soccer field, but they’ve got some sort of home-field advantage and it makes it really difficult for us. We had to match their intensity and energy level. We haven’t faced a team like them in that way so far this season."

Through its first four Region 10 matches, Park City has scored 11 goals while conceding zero. Senior captain Skye Mooney has four consecutive shutouts against region opponents.

"That’s a testament to our defense they’re fast and they’re skilled," Cook said. "They have good defensive technique, they’re staying organized and it comes from Skye, who is back there communicating. They have their momentary lapses, but when one player has a lapse, the other one covers."

The speedy Dancy leads the Miners in goals with nine, while Reigelsperger is second with five.

The Miners (8-0-2 overall) faced Juan Diego Tuesday afternoon at home after this edition went to press.


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