Crawford’s hat trick leads Miners past Grantsville
Simply put, the Park City High School girls’ soccer team knows how to attack. From the opening whistle of Tuesday’s contest with Grantsville, the Miners were in full-throttle mode, with the ball hardly ever crossing midfield into their own territory.
It was this mindset that allowed them to eventually break through with four first-half goals, and an insurance one in the second, to race past the Cowboys 5-0 at the North 40 fields. Willing to make the extra pass and developing a camaraderie among the players, Head Coach Chip Cook is happy with the way her team is playing right now.
“We’ve got a lot of people who aren’t afraid to give the ball up to someone who has a better scoring opportunity, it’s a very unselfish team,” Cook said. “It’s a matter of trust with each other. I think they are feeling confident in the players around them that the players they give the ball to aren’t going to lose it.”
For much of the first half, there were a lot of shots, but not a lot of makes. Every time it seemed like the Miners would strike first blood, the shot would fall just wide of the net. Finally, Park City broke through with the first goal of the game from Evie Edwards, who received a pass from Casey Crawford to gain the early 1-0 advantage.
Just a few minutes later, Keira Morrell found the back of the net to give the Miners a comfortable 2-0 lead in the first half. Then, in the amount of time it takes to check an email on your phone, Crawford struck gold to go up three goals, and then again just minutes later to make it 4-0 heading into halftime.
Crawford also added an insurance goal in the second half to complete the coveted hat trick. With her three goals on Tuesday, she pushed her season total to 11, but it’s not her scoring ability that makes her one of Park City’s most-valued players.
“She just is a really tactically smart, hard-working, everywhere-on-the-field type of player,” Cook said of Crawford. “She never stops. … We’ve got a really hard-working crew, but she’s — day in and day out, every minute of every day — a really hard worker. We really appreciate that.”
While Crawford stole the spotlight on Tuesday, this Park City team has a balance that is absent for most teams in its region. From the upperclassmen to the lowerclassmen, offense to defense, every Miner does her part on this team in order to get a win.
The defensive front, which has held region teams to just one goal in four games (that one goal came off of a direct kick), is as solid as they come. Senior Bailey Hoglin leads a young unit that took a while to mold, but now is a force to be reckoned with. With so much youth, Hoglin is called upon to provide direction and stability in front of the net, and Cook has been impressed all around.
“They complement each other very well and we’ve got a lot of leadership and communication back there with Hoglin,” Cook said. “The younger players can settle in and have more of a focus on their jobs. As a unit, they are working extremely well together.”
With the first round of region games come and gone, the Miners now prepare for the second go-round, starting with a match with Tooele on Tuesday. The Buffaloes (8-2-2) typically play Park City pretty tough, as they will be looking to gain traction in the race for the region crown.
“We need to be on our game with them. We can’t just assume we are going to walk away with a win,” Cook said. “From here on out, we’ve got a target on our back and we need to play with a little bit of a chip on our shoulder. We don’t want anyone to tarnish our record, so we want to go in there and play tough and play to the best of our ability every day we step on the field.”
Tuesday’s match with Tooele is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. at the North 40 fields.
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Tosh Martin, a Park City High School junior, was the Miners’ sole selection to the Class 4A UHSAA All-State soccer first team.