Park City wraps up regular season with loss to Olympus
Miners likely to miss playoffs
Heading into their final regular-season match on Thursday, Park City’s girls soccer team was looking for a win against Olympus at home, hoping to potentially prolong its season.
Unfortunately for the Miners, despite a spirited second-half performance, it wasn’t meant to be. Olympus scored two goals in the first half and added another in the second to come away with a 3-1 win over Park City. While the playoff brackets aren’t set, it’s likely Park City’s 5-11 record (3-9 in region play) won’t be enough to break into the 24-team postseason.
“Just tremendously proud of the group, and in particular the senior class,” Park City coach Anthony DiCicco said. “I think they gave a great testament to the fight that they have, and I don’t think that Olympus got all that comfortable, even when they had two-goal leads.”
Park City fell behind 2-0 in the first half, but the Miners found an answer from junior Kendall Hassel. Hassel unleashed a screamer from outside the 18-yard box and buried it into the net to cut the lead in half with seconds left before halftime.
Ultimately, Park City didn’t find another goal, but the Miners hung in there and were competitive with a tough Olympus team.
“Kendall makes it 2-1 in the last minute of the half, and then at 1-2, we hit the crossbar,” DiCicco said. “Margins in soccer are thin. Obviously, we’re disappointed that we didn’t find a way, but everything we talked about on (senior) night remains true. This senior class’s commitment to the long-term health of the program is unlike anything I’ve seen in recent times and just tremendously proud of them.”
If Thursday’s match is Park City’s last of the season, its seniors found some closure, even if it’s not the most satisfying ending.
“It is a cool experience to finish a lot of girls’ soccer careers with them,” senior Riley Barnhart said. “I’ve played soccer with a lot of them since we were 8, so it’s kind of cool to be able to come back to high-school season and play with them and kind of special to wrap up soccer with them.”
“This is my last game ever playing soccer, but to play with these girls was such an honor this year,” senior Maria Peña added. “Obviously sad, but it was a good game to end on with Kendall’s banger. So, that was exciting. We all gave 100%. It was a good game.”
For senior Alex Katz, it’s not just the sport she’ll miss.
“Yes, the result wasn’t what we wanted, but for me, the sport has been – the highlights have been the people,” Katz said. “It’s not just the sport, so that was something today just reminded me about all over again.
“It really puts things into perspective that this was a big part of my life. I’ve been playing soccer since I was, like, seven years old. Honestly, to end it with these people, like I said, is the way that I wanted to. I’m honestly pretty satisfied.”
DiCicco said his team’s play by the end of the year was unrecognizable in a good way compared to the beginning of the season because of how much confidence the Miners had by the end of it. The Miners never quit, and the players’ emotions after the game showed how much they cared about the game and each other.
“The reason you see tears is because there is a new belief in what this group is capable of,” DiCicco said. “In spite of some heartbreaking defeats and some mistakes that we weren’t able to overcome, there was a relentlessness about this group that will be present in the future as well. These seniors were banged up, and some had to be carried of the field. There’s a lot to be said for their fight and tenacity as they continue to commit themselves to what this group is about and what this program is about.”
The International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation held their World Cup event at Park City this week. Using the track at the Utah Olympic Park. | David Jackson/Park Record
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