Miners honor seniors, who set bar for program | ParkRecord.com

Miners honor seniors, who set bar for program

Despite loss, Park City had plenty to celebrate

The seniors on Park City’s girls soccer team had their night under the lights at Dozier Field on Monday. 

The stands were packed, the seniors had their pregame ceremony and they had a big game to play against East. The game didn’t go their way – the Miners lost 2-0 after two East goals in the second half – but a night like Monday’s and a season like this one has meant a lot for Park City’s seniors.

“I think the energy was really good,” senior Alex Katz said. “A lot of support. Even though it wasn’t the outcome we wanted, honestly it felt like a win. We felt like we put a lot out there. We definitely progressed into the second half. I think we played a lot better, raised the level. But we have to carry that over to Thursday.”

Last year was tough, as the Miners went 3-15. This year, they’re 5-10 with one game left in the regular season. Senior captain Riley Barnhart knew this year would be different from the start.

“I came into this season honestly with low expectations,” Barnhart said. “Pretty much from the first practice, I could tell it was going to be completely different and that every single one of the girls was going to work hard to help us succeed.”

Even though Park City sits at 5-10, most of their losses were in competitive games, including two overtime defeats. Monday was no different. The game was scoreless at halftime, and Park City had opportunities to strike first. East fired home two quick goals early in the second half, but the Miners were never truly out of it until the final whistle.

Park City coach Anthony DiCicco credited his team’s seniors for helping rebuild the team’s culture. The seniors told the underclassmen how impressed they were by their younger teammates, which was noteworthy.

“I think that’s a tribute to the seniors because a lot of times, seniors are very myopic,” he said. “They see the end of the road for themselves. And the truth is, it’s never the end. You’re part of something bigger. And they’ve taken on something bigger, and they’ve taken on that perspective and have been tremendous leaders and tremendous stewards for the program for the entire year.”

The team had dinner together the night before the East game, and Barnhart said the team went around saying what they respected about each other. 

“This year, it’s felt completely different,” Barnhart said. “Even though our track record hasn’t exactly shown it, we’ve been doing so much better this season. Everybody’s been working super hard and cares a lot.”

DiCicco said he hadn’t seen any of his high-school teams do that before.

“It was neat because it was inclusive,” he said. “Our freshman-sophomore season ended on Friday, but those freshman players were there. To hear them be able to tell the seniors how much they look up to them, how much they want to be like them, was powerful. To hear the seniors tell the underclasssmen how impressed they are with them and how they want to be like them was equally powerful.”

While the game didn’t go their way, Park City’s seniors also had plenty of support in the stands.

“Just seeing everyone in the beginning of the game, seeing the underclassmen all come together to put something like this together and the parents, just to feel the support we have,” Katz said. “It’s really amazing to see your community come together and support us.”

But the Miners and their seniors still have another game to play and plenty to play for. 

The Miners will face Olympus at home on Thursday in their regular-season finale, and they hope a win will be enough to push them into the 24-team postseason. Olympus and East sit at the top of the region standings at 9-2 after Monday’s action, but Park City only lost 2-0 on the road when it faced the Titans on Sept. 7.

“I’m really excited,” Katz said. “I feel like I can leave everything on the field because I really have nothing left to lose, and I want to give it my all. I’m just super excited.”


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