Miners unleash on Bulldogs
Earlier this week, Park City girls soccer coach Matt Evans sat his team down.
It was just days before the rematch against Judge Memorial, a few weeks removed from a hard-fought, heart-wrenching tie on the road. It was a key game for the Miners, who had someone slipped in the ranking to regain their stronghold in Region 10 and claim the No.1 seed in the playoffs that should rightfully be theirs based on their talent and skill. He knew he must do what coaching greats must do when it is time for their team to rise up and prove themselves.
So he did it, and it worked.
The Miners easily sailed by the Bulldogs 3-0
"I said, ‘You guys are good enough to do it,’" Evans said.
Both teams were playing without key starters. The Miners were missing powerful scorer Elli Reed and sweeper Lindsi Lisonbee, who were both called to play for the national team this week. On the other side, Judge’s star scorer, Marquel Reddish was stuck on the sidelines hobbled by a broken leg that will keep her off of the field until January.
But a slightly different cast wasn’t going to deter the Miners. Judge set up in their usual defense-heavy positioning, but the Miners were prepared on offense.
"They came out making passes and winning balls," Evans said. "They showed a lot of composure and intensity."
In the first half, the Miners turned in three goals off the feet of Hanna Terry, Erika Vikander and Rachael Ritter.
And the goals weren’t lucky shots or scores off errors either. They were textbook.
"Every goal was amazing," gushed Evans.
Evans said the most impressive was Ritter’s goal, which she shot with her back to goal after going through four Judge defenders.
"It’s nice to get some production from people that aren’t supposed to give some," Evans said.
Ritter also played well in Tuesday’s 7-1 victory over Morgan, where she scored Park City’s third and fourth goals on a free kick and a penalty kick.
With the game well in hand at 3-0, the Bulldogs were unable to answer back and eventually succumbed to the Park City shutout, 3-0.
"I was proud of every single player," Evans said. "Today they showed their capability."
Evans felt that his team could have even been more productive had a few more bounces and calls gone their way.
H e said much of the difference is in their mental preparedness and ability to finish. After giving up their second tie in seven days against Wasatch last week, Evans focused on both elements with the team. During his rallying speech prior to the Judge game, he again told the girls that they had the all the tools they needed to be the best team in the state, they just need to play hard each and every game.
"They’re old enough now to know how to mentally prepare themselves for every game," Evans said. "They need to be focused in on everyday game situations."
With just Union left on the league schedule, the Miners will soon start their quest for another state title. Evans said their focus is paramount if they want to be the last team standing.
"From here on out, every game is a huge game," Evans said.
The Miners will head to Union this Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 3:30 p.m.
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