Miners rally but come up short in heartbreaker against rival | ParkRecord.com

Miners rally but come up short in heartbreaker against rival

Park City erases 3-0 deficit but falls 4-3 to Wasatch

Park City’s boys soccer team made the trip down to Heber City on Tuesday to face its rival, and the Miners had a nightmare of a start. 

Three Wasatch goals early in the first half spelled disaster for Park City, but the Miners put themselves on the board right before halftime. A topsy-turvy match featured two more unanswered Park City goals in the second half, only for Wasatch to find a game-winning goal in the dying minutes of regulation.

The Miners are 0-2 to start the season after Tuesday’s loss and an overtime defeat against Timpanogos in their season opener, but they have pushed two top-10 teams from last year to the limit heading into region play.

“Losing in overtime (last week) didn’t feel great, but we would have liked to have seen this one go to overtime,” Park City coach Anthony DiCicco said. “It’s one of those situations where there’s a lot of positives and it is clear representation of two things. Number one, why we schedule the non-region games that we did against Timpanogos and Wasatch because they’re very good teams who have that quality and know how to win games. And two, because that’s what a rivalry game should be.”

Down 3-0, Park City received a spark from sophomore Alan Marin, who scored his first varsity goal to give the Miners life. Marin chased down a long aerial pass as Park City’s defense was clearing the ball out of its own half. The sophomore spotted the Wasatch keeper off his line and found the back of the net.

“I was nervous, my first time playing varsity, just took the shot,” Marin said. “Didn’t think about it, just played my game. Saw the shot and took it.”

Marin’s tally gave Park City some much-needed momentum and belief to get back into the game.

“I saw everyone, like, their eyes, they lit up,” Marin said. “Everyone was in the mood to play. I liked that.”

Park City cut the deficit down to one in the opening minutes of the second half. Senior Evan Tsandes volleyed the ball off the bounce and crushed a missile into the goal from distance. 

“Ripping dingers is always the best feeling ever, so to do it against your rival school, not much better than that,” he said. “I think we just needed that little push for us to keep going. I realized the keeper wasn’t great with his hands, so I figured why not taking a shot, test him a little bit? So, I think that ignited a fire in us and kept us going.”

Tsandes wasn’t done making an impact on the scoresheet, either. Midway through the second half, he was trying to shield the ball from a Wasatch defender inside the penalty area when he was taken down to draw a penalty kick. Senior Bryce Stone buried the resulting shot to tie the game. 

“Evan is the heartbeat of our team, along with some of the other guys, some of the other seniors,” DiCicco said. “He cares very, very deeply about the program and what we’re trying to do. I think he took out some of the frustration, the anger he was feeling at the end of the last game and the first half of this game on that shot because I’m surprised there’s not a hole in the net after the way he got ahold of that one.”

The score stood at 3-3 in the midst of pelting rain and blustery winds as time was winding down in the second half. Both teams had their chances, as a sprawling save denied Wasatch a goal, and a breakaway opportunity for Tsandes was saved. Finally, Wasatch found its fourth goal with only a few minutes left to hold off Park City for good. 

“It’s an unfortunate loss, but I mean, showed a lot about our team, going down 3-0 and then coming back 3-3,” Tsandes said. “Got to give it to them, the kid ripped a nasty dinger, so I mean, there’s not a whole lot you can do about it. Showed a lot about us as a team, and it’s an unfortunate loss to your rivals, but I think it shows a promising future for us.”

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