PCHS boys’ soccer: Park City stifles Uintah in region opener
March 16, 2012
After the Park City High School boys’ soccer team improved to 4-1 Wednesday afternoon, first-year head coach Jesse Blais said he’s starting to see the players’ hard work and willingness to adapt to each other come to fruition.
The Miners defeated Uintah 3-1 Wednesday on the road in their first Region 10 showdown of the season. Blais said his players were able to outwork the "fast and physical" Utes with their ability to keep the ball pinballing to each others’ feet.
"Well, we definitely looked better than we have in the past," he said. "We’re starting to connect passes and get some movement together."
Asked to elaborate, Blais said: "Just the play. How they go about moving and passing the ball. We just need to become cleaner and more deliberate. It can be called chemistry, it can be called timing, but it’s really just those guys learning to play with each other."
In the victory over Uintah, senior forward Ivan Gonzalez scored the first of Park City’s three goals. Fellow senior forward Keenan McCall buried a free kick to tally the second goal and junior winger Alejandro Viejra scored the final goal for the Miners.
"I think we’re happy that we were able to finish a couple of our chances," Blais said.
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Blais added that the team had been working hard last week in practice on how to execute plays offensively, and the players delivered in their outing in Vernal.
"Basically, it was the fact that we created a lot more scoring opportunities and had actually some plays," he said. "The guys were getting the ball into the box earlier and the runs were being made much closer."
Blais said freshman goalkeeper Domonic Croce has been essential to the Miners’ early-seasons success, as have Park City’s versatile defensive back four.
"He’s an amazing keeper, especially for a freshman. We’re glad to have him," he said. "Our defense has played really well. If we can stay healthy in the back, we’re going to be a tough team to score on."
While Blais and the Miners are enjoying their 4-1 start, they know they have plenty of work to do, especially with three straight matches against quality opponents on the docket.
Park City faced rival Judge Memorial Friday afternoon after this edition went to press. Next Thursday they will travel to Bountiful to face the 4A Braves. Also looming on the schedule is the rivalry showdown on March 28 between the Miners and the defending 3A champion Wasatch Wasps, who are 4-0.
"We’re not even close to peaking," Blais said. "We still have a lot of issues to work out. We need to be peaking in about a week and a half.
"It’s nice to see these guys play together and get some goals, but there’s still lots of work to be done with this team."