Miners hold off Rowland Hall
Through nearly 70 minutes of action on Monday afternoon at Park City High School, it looked as if the PCHS boys’ soccer team might have to settle for a scoreless tie on their home field against 2A opponent Rowland Hall.
The Miners had several decent scoring opportunities in the first half, but couldn’t finish.
But Park City coach Jesse Blais said the players didn’t get down on themselves; that’s just part of the game of soccer.
"We just got a little unlucky a couple times," he said. "You miss when you shoot; I just kept telling the guys to keep shooting and shooting."
But, he added, the Rowland Hall squad didn’t make things easy.
"They were playing tough defense," he said. "They always bring a lot of energy."
The second half started out much the same way, with a couple of nice possessions netting nothing but missed shots.
But then Park City forward Gunner Stray-Gundersen took possession of the ball and made a run through the defense, forcing Rowland Hall’s goalkeeper to come out to try to make a play.
Gundersen was fouled in the process, earning a penalty kick with just over 12 minutes to go in the game.
Seconds later, he had beaten the keeper, giving his team a 1-0 lead.
Ten minutes later, Alejandro Vieyra sent a cross into the box from the right corner. The ball found Rob Morelli’s foot and Morelli finished off the play with a powerful shot into the back of the net.
Blais said Vieyra has strung together a couple of nice games.
"He played really well last week against Union," he said. "So I tried him out in a couple different spots tonight."
With non-region opponents Rowland Hall and Hillcrest on the schedule this week, Blais is trying out several different combinations in his lineup as the Miners try to find a way to replace the injured Garrett Magie.
He said he saw some good things from the lineup, despite the early lack of production.
"We were moving the ball very nicely in the first half," he said.
The Miners take on 4A Hillcrest at home at 3:30 on Thursday afternoon. Blais said Park City (5-2-1) would need to bring the same defensive intensity to that game.
"They’re a bigger school and they have a lot more people to choose from," he said. "Their first four games, they’re 4-0, so they’re going to be tough to beat."
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