Park City girls soccer ties rival Wasatch 1-1 in 5A region debut
When Park City’s girls soccer team met Wasatch on Thursday evening, it was only the third time the Miners had suited up this season.
Facing a region opponent early on was not ideal for Park City head coach Micaela Carriel, especially considering her girls had just moved up to 5A Region 8 after spending last season in 4A.
Despite the Miners’ 1-0 lead into halftime, both they and the Wasps left the pitch at Stadium Field with a 1-1 tie, and a 1-1-1 record on the season.
“The girls made their goals at the start of the year and it wasn’t to tie,” Carriel said. “But with that being said, we did some really good things overall. It wasn’t the result we wanted, obviously, but it was a good showing.”
Park City got on the board midway through the first half with a goal by senior midfielder Samantha Manwaring, proof that Carriel’s newly implemented style of play is paying off. Carriel wants the flow of the offense to begin with the defense by focusing on possession and technical skills. After stopping a Wasatch attack, Park City senior defender Coral Crossland helped play a ball out wide to the right side. The Miners took the ball deep into Wasp territory before a centering pass by Park City junior Klaire Kovar found Manwaring’s foot for the early lead.
Wasatch would later tie the game midway through the second half when the Wasps caught Park City’s defense flatfooted with a counter attack and found the back of the net.
With the game tied at the end of 80 minutes, the “golden goal” overtime came into play — meaning the first team to score would win. But after two 10-minute halves, the game remained tied, despite the Miners’ multiple shots on goal in the second frame.
“We had a lot of really wonderful shots that unfortunately went wide, hit the cross bar or something else that we just couldn’t quite convert,” Carriel said. “We need to sharpen up some shooting. … Putting it on frame more and not just trying to kill the ball when opportunities are there.”
Overall, the game was a back and forth affair with both teams showing moments of great skill and lackluster effort.
At points, Park City looked as if the move up a classification wasn’t going to be an issue, dominating possession and firing at will at the Wasatch goalkeeper. But also, there were points when the Miners looked overwhelmed by the constant pressure from the Wasps.
“We had moments of brilliance but we really need to practice showing up for the full 80 minutes and not just having moments of dominating,” Carriel said. “That comes with confidence and maturity, and with it being so early in the season, we need to continue to progress in that area.”
Developing the confidence and maturity Carriel was speaking of is going to take time, and will hopefully grow over the length of the season. But for her and the Miners, it all starts with the small things, the attention to details that will make the most difference.
“It starts with being extremely disciplined in practice, being fully ready to go when its time to start,” Carriel said. “It’s the small things; running from where you are to the drills, when I talk and you don’t talk. … Because being disciplined off the field translates to being disciplined on the field and that’s what we need.”
Still there were good lessons to take away from the tie as a foundation to set themselves on as region play progresses, according to Carriel.
“Every time we practice, every game we have is a building block, an opportunity to get better and that’s what this game was for us,” Carriel said. “But you keep going so that you peak in playoffs and then you’re good to go. The team needs to understand that when we relax, take a breath and play to our full potential, we do dominate.”
The Miners return to action on Tuesday, Aug. 20 at home against Provo. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. at Stadium Field in front of Park City Ice Arena.
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