Miners triumph in Wasatch rematch
The Park City Miners are beginning to put the vast wealth of talent at its disposal to full use, and that is a frightening prospect for the team’s opponents.
On Friday, April 21, Park City forcefully took hold of first place in Region 11 with a 5-0 win over Wasatch, with whom the Miners had been tied in the standings before the game. Both teams came out aggressively, each seeking to assert itself as the best in the region, but Park City had little trouble establishing dominance in a highly physical showdown between the two rivals. Park City was simultaneously an offensive juggernaut and a defensive deterrent.
Shea Curran, playing in his first game all season, started the scoring with a driven header into the net early in the opening half. This was just minutes after Roberto Linck had had a goal waved off after an offside call Wasatch also had an early goal erased because of the same call. Later in the first half, A.J. Gitlin found leading scorer Stephen Hart just outside of the 18-yard box with a back heel. Hart dribbled towards the goal and sent a rocket past Wasatch goalkeeper Kurtis Kraatz.
In the second half, Park City picked up right where it had left off in the first, completing an impressive offensive display. Ryan Williams scored the first of three second half goals when he received the ball from Austin Blais on a free kick, flicked the ball into the air, turned and volleyed it powerfully into the goal. Linck placed a penalty kick in the bottom left corner of the goal later in the half, and Gitlin capped off the onslaught with a late header.
Says Coach Mike Guetschow of his team’s offensive success, "I thought we were moving the ball better today," a tactic which clearly yielded numerous good scoring chances.
The Miners’ defense also played a crucial role in the victory, as it held what had been a nearly unstoppable Wasatch offense scoreless the entire game. Park City’s defense has been steady all year and has shown consistent improvement, helping the team outscore its last three opponents by a combined score of 14-0. Seniors Blais, Matt Knoop and Ryan Simons combine with junior Robby Patrick to form a formidable back line, even in the absence of Chase Gordon, a key junior who has been out for several weeks with a hip flexor injury. And, if an opposing team’s offense finds a way to break down the Miners’ defenders, it still has talented goalkeeper Ryan Lynsky to deal with. Wasatch had few legitimate scoring chances and was unable to convert on those that it did have.
As usual, the junior varsity team found a way to win following the varsity game. Freshman Austin Stevens scored to give his team a 1-0 win. The junior varsity team has lost only one game all season.
The Miners’ next game is at home on Wednesday, April 26 against Uintah at the Quinn’s Junction field at 3:30 p.m., an in-region foe that rarely poses any significant problems for Park City.
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Daniel Lewis, an Old Town resident who unsuccessfully sought a spot on the Park City Council in 2019, said this week he will mount another campaign this year.