PCHS boys’ soccer shuts out tough Grantsville squad
Region 10 play has been all or nothing for the Park City High School boys’ soccer team in 2016. Going into Friday afternoon’s home match against Grantsville, the Miners were 2-2 in region play.
In the two wins, the Miners outscored Union and Tooele by a cumulative score of 6-0. In the two losses to Stansbury and Grantsville, the Miners were shut out by a combined 8-0 score.
Friday’s game continued that trend, as the Miners and Cowboys battled through a snowy first half before Park City found the back of the net midway through the second half and held on for a big 1-0 victory.
After a lackluster non-region performance and a shaky start to Region 10 play, Park City Coach Tom Merchant said he’s seen signs of life from the Miners during the current two-game winning streak.
"I think we’ve learned in training that hard work pays off," he said. "Is it there all the way yet? No, but we’re getting there. We’re helping each other out. That game could have been 1-0 against us as well as it could have been 1-0 for us. It was a very even match. We did well to fight — that’s what we’re looking for."
Park City’s goal came on a shot by Grayson McCall. Cole Stanton made his way through the Grantsville defense and sent a picture-perfect crossing pass to McCall, who easily beat the Cowboy goalie. Merchant said McCall, a former goalkeeper, was a key to Park City’s success on Friday.
"That’s what makes teams," Merchant said. "A kid like Grayson, who was the starting goalkeeper at the beginning of the year, comes on and was smooth up top and scored the only goal. He doesn’t do all the fancy ball work, but he’s solid on the ball and knows where to be. He’s one of those people who are in the right place at the right time frequently."
Merchant added that Jacob Montiel, who hasn’t played much this year, helped facilitate the Miners’ offensive attack when he was subbed on in the second half.
"He came on as an attacking midfielder and the whole game slowed down and we had time," Merchant said. "There’s something about being a smooth player — it’s not frantically playing quickly, but he was playing quickly."
Defensively, Josh Clifton had his hands full marking Grantsville’s top scorer. Merchant said Clifton proved he was up to the task, though.
"Number 19 on their team has scored a ton of goals and is a really good player," he said. "We needed to be aware of him. Josh Clifton did a really nice job marking him. It’s frustrating when you have someone bugging you all game."
Park City’s goalie, Andrew Guthery, kept a clean sheet against the Cowboys. Merchant said there were a couple of tense moments, but Guthery kept his cool between the posts.
"He did fine," Merchant said. "There was one bounce in the box that bounced over the goal, so that was nice. You have to control the box, but he came up every time he needed to."
After a Park City player was given a red card with 10 minutes left in the game, the Miners had to play with only 10 players on the field while trying to cling to a 1-0 lead. Merchant said those are the moments that build a team.
"That’s where the hard work of a team shows," he said. "Situations happen. If you work together as a team and for each other, you can handle it. We showed for a few minutes that we can play like that. Now we have to show a few more going forward."
Park City (3-8 overall, 3-2 in Region 10) traveled to play Union on Tuesday afternoon, after this issue went to press. The Miners’ next game is scheduled for Tuesday, April 26, at Stansbury. The final home game of Park City’s season will be held Friday, April 29, against Tooele at 3:30 p.m.
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