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Miners trying to break through

Christopher Kamrani, Of the Record staff

It’s official: Gut-check time is here for the Park City boys’ lacrosse team.

On the heels of a 10-6 victory over Woods Cross Friday in a complete whiteout, a hard-fought 12-7 loss to Juan Diego followed Monday afternoon at Dozier Field. The Miners, now 6-5, took a step forward against one of the state’s best teams but still have work to do, said head coach Rich Levi.

"We wanted to put pressure on these guys and that didn’t happen," he said. "A mental error coming out of halftime: They took advantage of it like good teams do.

"We did improve, all the coaches feel like."

The mistake came after Park City played an impressive first half and remained within striking distance at 6-4 at halftime. Then, less than 30 seconds into the second half, a defensive breakdown led to a quick Juan Diego goal.

But as they did continually in the first half, the Miners responded cutting the lead to 7-5.

However, after Jake Gutman pulled Park City within two, the Soaring Eagle flew away with the game. Juan Diego went on a 5-0 scoring run and had the game all but wrapped up as the fourth quarter began.

"There’s an urgency to stop the ball that we’re lacking," Levi said.

Senior Griffin Perkiel had a stellar afternoon, scoring four highlight-reel goals and dishing out one assist.

"He had a huge game," Levi said. "He knows how to find the back of the net."

Freshman Carson Dutkanych brought a good deal of energy up front and continually bothered the Juan Diego defense. He finished with one goal and two assists.

"He was going full-tilt the whole game and we’ve been looking for that. That’s something to build on," Levi said.

Juan Diego, which defeated defending state champion Brighton last week, could be one of the top overall seeds heading into next week’s playoffs.

As the standings look right now, it’s more than likely Park City will get another crack at the Soaring Eagle in the first round of the playoffs next week in Draper.

"It’s shaping up that way," Levi said. "But I don’t think anything’s going to be official yet."

When asked if his team has the ability to give Juan Diego a run for its money, Levi said, "These guys, they don’t quit. I’ll give them that."

To make some noise in the postseason, Park City must shore up its defense. The Miners must be able to defend for extended periods of time, Levi said, and must be able to communicate and have almost zero hesitation.

"When you play that much defense, eventually they’re going to find that cage," he said. "We were reacting just a half a second too late. But that’s all it takes."

Goalie Peter Hoburg had some extraordinary saves, often being left alone on fast breaks and standing tall against the speedy Juan Diego offense.

"Our goalie was huge," Levi said.

At the regular-season finale Thursday at Quinn’s Junction, senior night is on tap for the Miners and, more importantly, another top-10 opponent in Waterford.

"There should be a lot of emotion," Levi said. "They should be really ready to go. That is a huge game for us because it sets the tone for the playoffs."


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