PCHS boys’ soccer blow out Tooele 7-1
It’s no secret that goals have not come easy for the Park City High School boys’ soccer team this season. Even in the Miners’ four victories prior to Friday night, they’d relied more on defense than offense, winning game by scores of 1-0, 1-0, 2-0 and 4-0.
Against Tooele on Friday, though, the Miners flipped the script, scoring seven goals in a 7-1 senior night victory. According to Coach Tom Merchant, the key to the Miners’ success against the Buffaloes was an active midfield.
"What I like was that our goals were coming from midfielders getting forward and getting opportunities," he said. "Ethan Foote got two from his holding midfield spot and Kailer Spangenberg got two from attacking midfield. When most of your goals are coming from the midfield, that’s more difficult for a lot of teams to cover. That could be a key for us moving forward."
In addition to Spangenberg and Foote scoring two goals each, Jacob Farnsworth, Jacob Montiel and Gray Wells all found the back of the net once.
Defensively, Merchant was happy with the way the back line possessed the ball and kept it away from the Buffaloes’ forwards.
"This was an opportunity for us to possess it a little better and make better passes," he said. "That gave us an opportunity to build more offense in the final third [of the field]."
Merchant said picking up a lopsided win was just what the Miners needed heading into the playoffs.
"It was a nice night to show that we can beat some teams easily," he said. "It was a nice confidence booster and showed that we can be successful. And it was a great opportunity for the seniors [on senior night] to play in front of their families and friends."
Park City (5-9 overall, 5-3 in Region 10) will travel to Logan to play in the first round of the 3A playoffs on Thursday. Merchant acknowledged that the game will be a challenge for the Miners, but said he’s confident they can compete.
"We don’t know Logan well, but this will be a good test to show how much we’ve grown," he said. "We’ve had several common opponents [with Logan], but they’ve done better than us with those. It will be a challenge for us, but I think we’re up to it. As the season progressed, we grew as a team."
He’s not sure exactly how the Miners will attack the Logan squad just yet, but said he anticipates an aggressive approach.
"It’s easy to sit back and try not to allow multiple goals that hurt us in games earlier in the season," he said. "But the best defense sometimes is a good offense. If we can pressure someone early, it takes a little pressure off us defensively. We might go attack early and see if we can make them think twice about us."
Thursday’s first-round playoff game at Logan is scheduled to start at 4 p.m.
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The 22-year-old won the X Games’ inaugural ski knuckle huck competition and followed it up by taking gold in ski slopestyle.