Miners advance to state quarterfinals with huge win
If you showed up late to the UHSAA 3A first-round contest between the Park City High School girls’ soccer team and the visiting Richfield Wildcats, you were already behind.
Just two minutes into the game, the Miners used a goal from Lauren Hoglin to gain the early advantage and didn’t let up. They would go on to finish the first half with six goals, strategically maneuvering around the Richfield defense en route to a dominant 8-0 victory to advance to the second round in the state tournament.
“I was really pleased [with the win],” Head Coach Chip Cook said. “I was really pleased with how we played as a team. [We] shared the ball a lot. We got a little dribble-happy a little bit, but [we] were doing some spectacular combining and did some really good things, as well. [I’m] extremely pleased.”
If the hope was to make sure that everyone on the team was involved, Park City accomplished that. In addition to Hoglin’s opening score, goals were scored by Casey Crawford, who registered a hat trick, Evie Edwards and Mackenna Doilney to round out the goals in the first half. Edwards and Bailey Hoglin each scored in the second half to bring the mercy rule into play after going up by eight goals.
The encouraging team play for the Miners was a sight to behold for any soccer coach, as seven of the scores were assisted by teammates. Players who registered assists were Crawford, Edwards, Jessica DiCaprio, Dani Johnson and Keira Morrell. For Park City to continue to advance in the playoffs, Cook believes team play is essential.
“[You have to] do the things you do well,” Cook said. “You have a whole team around you, use your team. You’ve got to get a frame of mind going where you’re committed to the team effort. It’s just getting everyone on board and this team is. They’re ready for it.”
This mindset will need to carry over into the second round of the playoffs when Park City hosts Juan Diego Catholic High School out of Region 11 at the North 40 fields on Saturday. The Miners put all of their attention into the Wildcats on Wednesday, but with the win, they can now shift their attention onto the Soaring Eagle.
“It’s just our mantra,” Cook said. “We’ve got this game; [after the game] check it off the list. Now, we can focus on the next one. We knew who [our next opponent] could be, but we were focused on [our current opponent].”
Juan Diego holds a record of 12-5-1 on the year and boasts one of the top scoring threats in all of 3A in Daviana Vaka (22 goals in 17 regular-season games). Competing in different regions, neither team has seen the other heading into the tilt. Even so, Cook is doing everything she can to make sure her players are ready to go by the time the opening whistle sounds.
In the end, it’ll come down to who wants it more.
“You need to beat everyone,” Cook said. “To be the best, you have to beat the best and we want to be there.”
The game between the Miners and Juan Diego is set for 1 p.m. on Saturday at the North 40 fields.
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The Miners are battling injuries and absences to key players but expect things to turn around once they get healthy.