Miners soccer falls to rival Wasatch | ParkRecord.com

Miners soccer falls to rival Wasatch

Park City’s Shelly Palabrica (52) gets tangled up with Wasatch’s Hannah Cope during Tuesday’s game at Dozier Field.
Tanzi Propst/Park Record

With the Park City soccer team celebrating senior night, the Miners looked to beat the Wasatch Wasps under the lights at Dozier Field. With 12 seniors on the team, the girls left their hearts on the field but came up just short in a 3-2 loss.

After the game, coach Tom Merchant celebrated the seniors despite the outcome.

“The seniors are the heart of this team,” he said. “You could see how much they wanted it. I just wish we could have come up with a better result.”

After falling behind 1-0 six minutes into the first half, Park City started to dominate the game but couldn’t find a way to get the ball into the back of the net. At the end of the half, the Miners remained down by a goal, looking for answers to score and take over the game.

At the start of the second half, Park City gave up another early goal, putting themselves in a 2-0 hole with 37 minutes left in the game. The Miners responded quickly with senior Eliza Merrion scoring just three minutes later to again make it a one-goal game. After an exchange of chances for both sides, senior Megan Lusher scored with 18 minutes left to make it a 2-2 tie. Unfortunately for the Miners, Wasatch responded shortly after by scoring the game-winning goal.

Even after the loss, Merchant noted positives about how close the team is to taking the next step. With the new Rating Power Index (RPI) playoff system in which every team makes the playoffs, the Miners’ focus is on getting the best position possible.

“We’re fighting the little things right now,” Merchant said. “We’re fighting now to get a better draw in the playoffs.”

Park City also remains focused on the ultimate goal of winning a state championship.

“I want to play in Rio Tinto Stadium,” Merchant said. “Even with the loss, that’s always our goal. … I think we have the team to do it, but we just have to keep fighting for it.”

Park City has two away games in a row, against Provo and Maple Mountain, then returns to the North 40 Fields for its final regular-season home game Sept. 24 against Salem Hills. The Miners will be looking for revenge as they suffered a tough loss to the Skyhawks earlier in the season in a penalty shootout.

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