Miners rout Morgan in region opener
It only took about a minute for the Park City High School boys’ soccer team to find the back of the net on Monday afternoon at Dozier Field.
As Rob Morelli brought the ball to the right corner of Morgan’s end of the field, he tried to send a cross pass across the box to a teammate. But, as luck would have it, Morelli’s attempted pass snuck over the Morgan keeper’s head, putting the Miners up 1-0 en route to a 5-0 rout.
"I’m not going to claim anything on that one," Morelli said of his fortuitous attempted pass. "It was a complete shank. But it went in, so I’ll take it."
Morelli would hit his mark with a pass just 10 minutes later, though, when he found Giacomo Castellano in the box off of a corner kick for the Miners’ second goal.
Park City added a third goal before halftime when a picture-perfect cross from Wade Quilter found an open Alex Jackson to give the Miners a 3-0 lead at the break.
In the second half, the goals kept coming for the home team. Five minutes into the half, Will Macfarlane scored off a pass from Mitch Martino to Gunnar Stray-Gundersen, collecting the rebound and beating the Morgan keeper.
With just under 13 minutes left in the game, Macfarlane contributed to another goal, finding Garrett Magie off a corner kick for a rocket shot to put Park City up 5-0.
After having more than a week off since beating Ogden last Friday, the Miners have improved significantly, head coach Jesse Blais said.
"We were just moving the ball, which is good," he said. "You kind of have to slow the speed down sometimes, and they were able to do that. You have to slow their runs down, slow their movement down in order to be able to pass the ball. It’s all a rhythm whether you’re going fast or slow, it’s all a rhythm, no matter what."
Morelli added that the amount of time the Miners spent with the ball was a key to Monday’s victory.
"We played a lot of good balls through the middle and we were keeping good possession," he said. "We got the ball out wide, which is always nice, and our center mid[fiedler]s held possession. They were able to spread the ball a lot and get it forward."
Compared to the preseason, Blais said the Miners’ communication skills have come a long way.
"The best thing we were doing [in the preseason] was just playing soccer," he said. "But we weren’t communicating and we weren’t marking. We were still competing at a high level against really good teams, but last week we worked a lot on communicating. It doesn’t matter who’s in there, people have to be talking to each other."
Morelli also noticed improved chatter on the field.
"We’re clicking pretty well," he said. "There’s definitely some chemistry we need to work out, but that’s something we’ll work out by the end of the year."
Next up for Park City (3-3 overall, 1-0 in Region 10) is a region matchup against Uintah (2-4-1 overall, 0-0 in Region 10). Blais said the Miners won’t be overlooking that game.
"I know Uintah is better," he said. "They’ve always played us hard and they always want to beat us, so Wednesday will be a tough game. Their defense is good."
Wednesday’s game at Dozier Field is set to begin at 3:30 p.m.
The Park City High School softball team is winning, and that’s news. It’s been close to a decade since they recorded a winning season.