Soccer team wins region, avenges loss to Judge
April 28, 2009
It’s been a pretty good last few days for the Park City High School soccer team.
Friday the Miners beat their biggest nemesis, Judge, 3-2 and Monday, they beat Wasatch 3-0 to clinch the Region 10 title.
Besides the fact that a win over Judge is always sweet, the Miners’ victory was also important. The Miners had lost to the Bulldogs in an earlier regular-season matchup and needed to beat them not only for morale but to help clinch the title.
The Miners didn’t start out on top. About 15 minutes into the game, the Bulldogs received a free kick off a Park City penalty that sailed into the net for a 1-0 lead.
But the Miners didn’t stay down for long. Eric Laufer scored with eights minutes left in the half to tie up the game leading into halftime.
After that, the momentum shifted permanently to the Park City side.
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"When they scored in the first minute, we were worried," said Park City’s Austen Stevens. "But once we got into it, we dominated."
In the second half, Alex Gordon converted on a cross and slipped the ball into the middle of the net to break the tie. About 10 minutes later, Adam Laufer knocked in another ball to pit the Miners safely ahead at 3-1.
The Miners were playing without a number of injured players and lost midfielder Tommy Martin early in the game for a shoulder injury he incurred in pregame warmups. Alex Johnson also had to leave the game early because of an injury.
But, the Park City defense, even without Martin and Johnson, was able to keep the Bulldogs contained for much of the half.
"Our defense has stepped up this season to save us from being scored upon," Stevens said.
A missed save by Jake Sirianni late in the game gave the Bulldogs another goal, but they couldn’t get into the net again.
"In the second half, we got our heads in it and controlled the ball and didn’t worry about it," said Stevens.
Most of Park City goals came when the team took advantage of a situation –something that Park City head coach Caro Caro said aggravates many of their opponents.
"That’s what our team does," he said. "Every team hates us because our forwards are very aware with what’s going on in the box."
The physical nature of the Judge rivalry didn’t help, as scrappy play led to a number of scrapes and bruises for both teams.
"It’s always like that with Judge," said Stevens.
"This team plays at their best against the best teams," Caro said. "I expect this game to be great."
It also gives them plenty of confidence as they prepare to defend their state championship in the playoffs that start this week.
"It gives us the confidence we need," Stevens said.
The Miners will host a first-round playoff game Thursday at 4 p.m. at Dozier Field.