Shutout ends regular season
In their final game before the playoffs, the Park City Miners had little reason to play with any urgency. So, last Friday they stepped out onto the field with a lineup radically different from the one that we have seen the entire season. They fielded a team of junior varsity players essentially the entire second half. Park City, nevertheless came away with the desired result against Union with a 6-0 win on senior day.
Given their opponent and the fact that they had already secured first place in Region 10, the Miners saw the game as an opportunity to mix things up, have some fun and rest key players for the playoffs. With a lineup comprised of defenders masquerading as forwards and offensive players holding up the back line, Park City did not skip a beat. Once again, the team devastated its opponent by utterly dominating the ball and the flow of the game en route to a lopsided victory. Four different players Robby Patrick, Ryan Simons, Murray Hawker, and Michael Glenn scored for the first time all season in the victory.
Patrick, who, prior to the game, had played in the back all season, got the team started early. Within minutes of the game’s onset, Patrick ran on to a long cross from Paul Hanley and finished with a volley. Later in the first half, Simons, another player who typically plays defense, scored the team’s second goal and then assisted Stephen Hart for the third and final goal of the opening half. Not surprisingly, the Miners’ missed numerous chances with multiple players in new roles that they may never again assume.
In the second half, the junior varsity team added three more goals to Park City’s output. Tommy Martin, who had already received significant varsity playing time in many games, scored the first goal of the second half. Hawker scored the team’s fifth goal on a penalty kick after Brian Johnson was tripped in the box. Hawker has also played solid minutes in a number of varsity games this season. Glenn scored the final goal of the game.
The Miners finished the regular season with 13 wins and only two losses and with nine wins and one loss in region play. The Miners’ only losses came against 5-A powerhouse Alta very early on in the season and against Judge the first time the teams met. Park City has improved drastically since these losses, and appears to be playing its best soccer heading into the playoffs. The team has outscored its last five opponents by a combined score of 28-0, capping off an impressive regular season in which it scored 52 goals and allowed just seven.
Although their competition will improve in the playoffs, now that the Miners are playing up to their enormous talent level, a state championship is a more than reasonable goal. The Miners’ primary competitor will more than likely be Juan Diego, a skilled team that finished with 11 wins, one loss, and two ties overall, and a perfect record in region 8.
The playoffs commence on Wednesday, May 3 when Park City plays Ogden at 4:00 in the afternoon at the new field at Quinn’s Junction. Ogden was the 3-A state champion last season and always poses a threat with its highly physical style of play.
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