Miners take down Wasatch
Early in the first half of Tuesday afternoon’s girls’ soccer game between Park City and 4A Wasatch at the North 40 fields, it seemed as if the Miners’ tough preseason schedule was catching up to them.
Coming off a 3-0 loss at 4A Olympus on Monday afternoon, the Miners were looking to bounce back against a former Region 10 rival.
But a long shot from the top of the goal box sneaked over the head of sophomore goalkeeper Marina Mayo early in the first half, putting the Wasps up 1-0 and making it look like Park City might be in for a long afternoon.
That couldn’t have been further from the truth, though. Rather than getting frustrated, the Miners got even. Shortly after Wasatch scored, senior Gretchen Swenson put some serious English on the ball, bending a corner kick past the Wasps’ keeper to equalize the score heading into halftime.
In the second half, it was all Park City.
Devon Dunmire played a key role, setting up a Jessie Dancy goal with a beautiful cross that found Dancy’s head. Later in the second half, Dunmire was at it again, dribbling her way through the Wasatch defense before launching a shot past the keeper to give the Miners a 3-1 victory.
PCHS coach Chip Cook said she thinks Dunmire is starting to come into her own on the pitch.
"I think Devon has found her identity with this team and she’s working into a role she feels comfortable in," she said. "She’s working hard and keeping her feet moving. She’s opening up space for herself and she’s dynamic on runs."
Cook added that she was pleased with the way her team bounced back the day after a tough loss.
"If you work hard, something good is going to happen," she said. "We were creating opportunities. We’re trying to play possession-style soccer keeping it on the ground and being patient."
She was also happy with the way the girls were finishing their shots.
"There are a bunch of things that have to happen in order to make the hard work pay off in the end," she said. "It’s fine to be patient, but if you don’t have the bodies in place to finish, it doesn’t matter how patient one person is. But tonight we were getting people in places where they could be effective and get opportunities."
Already, the 3-0 loss to Olympus is in the Miners’ rearview mirror, Cook said.
"It was kind of a comedy of errors if it could go wrong, it did," she said. "We knew what we had to fix, and we just looked at it as a potential low point we could build on. We recognize it was not a quality soccer game for us."
Now, they’ll focus on the positives from the Wasatch game going forward.
"They always give us a great challenge and they’re a solidly coached team," Cook said. "It’s a great way to get us prepared. Having an opponent so close to home and having it be a rivalry game prepares you better for those high-pressure situations you might face down the road."
She added that the team seems to be figuring out how to be more effective as a unit.
"We’re a group of spectacular individual players who are trying to figure out our identities within the team," she said. "And we’re slowly but surely figuring it out. If we continue to improve every game, we’re happy."
The Miners improved to 2-1-1 with the win. Park City’s next home game is Thursday, Aug. 29, against Logan.
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The Miners ended up on the wrong side of a close game on senior night but are still fighting for playoff seeding.