PCHS soccer claims Region 10 title
Thursday night’s Senior Night game against Union was a festive occasion for the Park City High School girls’ soccer team. However, the real festivities came on Tuesday night against Juan Diego in Draper.
Needing a victory to claim the Region 10 title, the Miners came out and battled hard, playing a game that was very similar to the one the two sides played earlier this season in Park City. On both occasions, the Miners emerged victorious by a score of 1-0.
"The game started similarly to the last time we played them," Park City coach Chip Cook said. "We were a little nervous and we weren’t really as aggressive as we could be. But in the second half, we dialed some things in and put a ton of pressure on them."
Eventually, Park City got its breakthrough, Cook said.
"On the goal, Lindsay [Gordon] took it down the right-hand side of the field and fought and fought," she said. "It almost went out, but she slid to save it and crossed it to the middle and Cali [Keizer] put it in. It was a great goal."
Cook said the Miners looked like a team that can contend for a 3A state title on Tuesday.
"That’s the type of performance that showed me they’ve got the heart and the will to survive a close game," she said. "Those are the types of teams that win championships. It’s not always the best, most-skilled team that wins it’s the team with the most heart."
Add in Thursday’s 6-0 win against Union, in which Gordon, Keizer, A.J. Casey, Bailey Hodgson, Claire West and Lexie Polenz scored goals, and Cook said it’s obvious how much the team has improved since a winless preseason.
"They’ve been growing since day one," she said. "It was a brand new team, pretty much. Some of the key players were still in place, but we added a ton of different contributors and the chemistry changed. They’ve grown so comfortable with one another and they really enjoy each other. It’s a tight team."
Casey added that winning the Region 10 title was a big step for this year’s squad.
"It’s so exciting," she said. "We came into this season and I felt like everyone, not our team, but past players and other people were doubtful of how we were going to do. So it’s reassuring and nice to win region and prove to people that we’re still that good."
Winning the region title gives Park City a shot to host two playoff games, assuming it wins the first on Wednesday afternoon. Casey said the Miners plan to make the most of their playoff opportunities.
"As a senior, it would be everything and more to win state," she said. "I think we can do it. It’s going to take a lot of hard practicing and focus, but we can do it."
Looking back at that winless preseason schedule, Casey said the players realize that those struggles helped them grow into the team they are now.
"We had a really tough preseason, but it really prepared us for the region season," she said. "Thinking back to those games, region wasn’t as hard as playing 5A schools. Going into the state playoffs, though, it’s going to be pretty close to playing 5A and 4A schools again."
Wednesday afternoon’s game, against a to-be-determined opponent, will begin at 4 p.m. The team will decide soon whether the game will be played at the North 40 fields or on Dozier Field.
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