Four Park City Soccer Club teams win championships in the annual Extreme Cup soccer tournament
The Park City Soccer Club’s U19 girls team entered the Extreme Cup a relative unknown, even to themselves.
Not were they playing up an age group, the team consisted of a roster that should’ve been competing at the U17 level.
None of that mattered when the final whistle blew on Saturday afternoon, as the girls celebrated their 3-1 victory over Utah FC 01G Premier, claiming the Gold division championship in the annual Extreme Cup soccer tournament held in Park City this past weekend.
“To be honest, it was not very surprising for us because we’ve had the potential all along,” coach Jean-Marc Chevre said. “I’ve been with this team for a few years and this is the first time they showed some championship mentality, so we learned a lot about ourselves. I couldn’t be happier for this group who’ve been through so much.”
Chevre said playing such a young team against girls who were significantly older and more mature was going to be a very tall task for his team to overcome.
Instead of the typical “kick and rush” tactics employed by American teams, according to Chevre, he went with a different approach with his girls. He challenged them to become much more technical, think about possession and passing; letting their style of play speak for itself.
This change in strategy paid big dividends in the end as the girls avenged their only loss of the tournament with the victory in the championship game. Early Saturday morning, the girls lost 1-0 to Utah FC but came around in the afternoon with a much better showing.
“If you have a team who is stronger and more physical — like we did in the championship match — you can outplay them by letting the ball do the work, by being more technically sound and understanding how to play as a team,” Chevre said. “We outplayed them with our style. … We avoided 1 versus 1 scenarios and trusted each other so that made the difference for us in the end.”
For as good as the tournament was for the U19 girls team, it was equally as rough for the U19 boys, ranked eighth in the state prior to the start of the Extreme Cup. They entered the tournament with high hopes but a string of bad luck led to unlucky results, ultimately ending their run after pool play in the Platinum division, the highest level offered at the tournament.
“All I could tell the team is that ‘when it rains, it pours’ and that’s exactly what happened with us this weekend,” Chevre, who also coaches the boys team, said. “This was the first time we were together because of absences throughout the season. We didn’t have our best showing and we couldn’t get it done, but it happens.”
The bad luck started in the first game when the PCSC goalkeeper was given a red card early in the second half, prompting them to play a man short the rest of the way. According to Chevre, he didn’t necessarily have a problem with the call but was unsure if a red card was warranted. Officials called another Park City goal back because of an offsides penalty that Chevre disputed. These little things over the course of the game added up, leading to the 1-0 loss against Copper Mountain Soccer 02 JW, who would eventually win the tournament.
The run of bad luck continued as Jack Skidmore, starting midfielder and expected starting quarterback of the Park City High school football team in the fall, broke his left arm in the first game of the tournament. Midway through the second half, Skidmore collided with a Copper Mountain defender, sending the defender to the ground while he continued to play. He later learned that he broke his arm on the play, despite finishing out the remaining 25 minutes of the match.
“He thought it was a bruise the rest of the game so he kept playing, but didn’t find out till later in the day that he broke his arm after going to the doctor’s,” Chevre said. “It’s a big loss for us because he’s one of the most coachable, all-around team players I’ve ever had in all my years of coaching.”
Star player George Pineda Galvan missed the tournament finale after being taken to the ER following Friday’s morning game with an illness. He still attempted to play in the night match that same day but Chevre held him out as a precaution.
Of the 27 Park City Soccer Club teams entered in the tournament throughout different age groups and divisions, four of them ended the tournament as champions.
On the boys side of the tournament, Park City SC’s B06 Red won the U14 Bronze division with a 4-1 victory over Elite FC 06B Black in the championship match, They finished with a perfect 5-0 record and outscored opponents 38-2 in pool play.
The girls side saw three champions from Park City Soccer Club.
Park City SC G08 Red took home the Silver division championship in U12 division, avenging an earlier 6-2 loss to Copper Mountain 08 BC 1920 in pool play to defeat them 2-0 in the championship match.
In the U13 division, Park City SC G07 White didn’t lose a single a match en route to its championship in the Bronze bracket. The girls beat Fast Fury 07 3-2 in the championship match, finishing 3-0-1 in the tournament.
With the championship win for his U19 girls, Chevre sees big things on the horizon for his team.
“A few years ago we didn’t have the mentality to keep a result or turn one around, we just didn’t have that championship mentality we’ve needed,” Chevre said. “This was a big milestone for us and now with it, the fall and next spring will be big for us to continue to grow and learn. We have to that same approach and mentality from here on in.”
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After starting the year 0-3, the Miners are rolling. They’ve won their last three games, including Friday’s blowout over a region foe.