PCHS boys’ soccer races past Grantsville
Miners score six first-half goals to lead to victory
In soccer, teams can sometimes go the entire length of a game without finding the back of the net.
A scoreless game wasn’t the case for the Park City High School boys’ soccer team on Friday evening when playing host to Grantsville.
Within the first 20 seconds of the opening kickoff, Park City’s Matthew Gregory streaked down the left side of the field and scored to put the Miners up 1-0 early. By the third minute, Gregory had struck again and two minutes later, teammate Kyle Mulick joined in on the fun with a goal of his own.
Park City used six first-half goals, and two insurance ones in the second half, to defeat Grantsville 8-0 at Dozier Field. The game ended early via the mercy rule, despite the Miners being down a few starters due to injury or vacation.
“I think that we did what we needed to do,” Head Coach Tom Merchant said. “We’re missing a lot of players. … We brought up some younger players and they played some excellent minutes.”
One of those players was James Shagan, who scored in the 20th minute of the game to put Park City up 4-0 at the time. Following Shagan’s goal, Nick Burnz, John Flitto, Paco Jaurrieta and Jacob Farnsworth all contributed to the well-balanced attack with a goal scored
Merchant has recently talked with his crew on a number of occasions regarding finishing scoring opportunities, a problem that plagued the Miners in past games. The players, however, must’ve been paying attention. But there’s still work left to be done, Merchant said.
“We have been having the ball in front of the net constantly,” Merchant said. “As we move on, games are going to get tougher and tougher and you won’t have many chances in front of the net. When you have them, you need to put them away.”
The Miners have also recently taken it upon themselves to dive into their character. Merchant said that the team has been doing its due diligence in terms of finding the right characteristics to make a great player and teammate.
The favorite among the group? Hard work.
“One of the attributes they really liked in a player was hard work,” Merchant said. “You have to work a whole lot harder. People might often think they’re working hard, but when you know it’s your responsibility and you don’t have the help that you’re used to, you actually have to do it.”
In order to help his players understand how hard work can overcome struggle, the Miners played one man down in the match with Grantsville after going up 6-0 in the first half. The game was well in hand, even with a half to go, so Merchant was hoping to teach his players a valuable lesson.
“Rather than just win the game and go home, we used it as an exercise so we can become a better team,” Merchant said.
The Miners have been the best team in Region 10 thus far in the season. Not far behind, however, is Stansbury, whose only loss of the year in region play is to Park City in mid-March. Park CIty will take this week off for Spring Break, but the Stallions will be looking to even the score when the Miners return to action on Tuesday.
Both teams stand alone as the top two teams in the region, which makes Tuesday’s game that much more important as the season winds down.
“To keep the momentum going, we’re going to take a couple of days of rest and then we’re going to practice hard again next week and get ready for Stansbury, which is the test to see where we stand,” Merchant said.
The match between Park City and Stansbury is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. at Stansbury on Tuesday, April 18.
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