Park City takes a step forward despite missing postseason
Coach Anthony DiCicco finishes his first year at the helm
As Park City’s girls soccer team expected, its season officially came to an end when the 24-team Class 5A bracket was released and the Miners weren’t on it.
Park City finished the regular season with a 5-11 record (3-9 in region play) and 26th out of 33 teams in the final RPI rankings. But Park City coach Anthony DiCicco, in his first year in charge, said his team’s season was “perfect in its imperfections.”
“We had awesome, awesome moments and incredibly high highs, and also there’s times where we lacked consistency and conceded goals that they could have been the difference between us playing in the tournament and us not,” DiCicco said. “But the overwhelming sentiment I feel is gratitude for the opportunity to work with these players and this program and pride in the commitment that they made and the work that they put in in this journey over the last several months.”
Park City’s season started on the right foot with wins over Provo and Cottonwood by a combined score of 9-0. The Miners closed non-region play with losses to Springville and Sky View at home. Park City started its region slate by winning two of its first three matches.
The Miners won just one more game the rest of the way, but for the most part, Park City was competitive in every game it played. Only three of the Miners’ nine losses against region opponents were by more than two goals, and two of the nine were in overtime. That was a stark improvement from the previous season.
“I think the ability to be competitive was a reflection of the belief that grew in that group,” DiCicco said. “Right up until the second half of our final game, there was a commitment that they had all made to each other to never stop trying, to never stop putting the work in to achieve more than, I think, what anybody expected of us.”
A 6-2 win on the road against Highland on Sept. 19 was Park City’s sole victory in its final nine matches, but the Miners still showed plenty of growth down the stretch. For example, the Miners lost to Murray 7-1 on the road on Aug. 18. Less than a month later, Park City lost just 2-1 to Murray at home in a game where the Miners had several opportunities to score another goal.
“After that game, I shared with them a John Wooden interview where he talks about if someone walked into the gym and there was no scoreboard, I would want them to feel like our team had won regardless of what the score was,” DiCicco said. “We lose that game 2-1, but the growth that we demonstrated from the 7-1 kind of drubbing we experienced down there to the way that we played in the second half will stay with me. There was a lot of power in that 40 minutes for us.”
While Park City will miss the presence of a valuable senior class that helped set a new standard for the program, DiCicco is excited about the talent they should return for next year. He cited juniors Remy Rogers and Kendall Hassel and sophomores Abby Hanton and Lauren Kindt as examples.
“The junior class is a good group, and the sophomore class is extremely deep,” DiCicco said. “There’s a tremendous amount of talent in that (sophomore) group. That should make people very excited about the future of this program.”
Falling just short of playing in the playoffs may feel like a disappointment, but the Miners accomplished plenty in their 2022 season. Park City did its best to navigate a tough region – three of the top-10 teams in RPI in Class 5A are in Region 6 – and hang tough in every game coming off a 3-15 campaign last year. The future of Park City’s girls soccer team looks much brighter because of the effort from this year’s squad.
“We feel fortunate to be in a situation where, every time we step on the field, every game we play, is a difficult game that matters,” DiCicco said. “I think that we gave a good account of what we’re capable of, both in the short term and I think certainly looking in the longer term and what the program can be going forward.”
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