PCHS soccer falls in first round
It’s been a great 12 months for Cedar High School when playing on Dozier Field in Park City.
Last October, the Redmen defeated the Park City High School football team 23-13 in the first round of the 3AA playoffs. Then, in May, the Redmen took down the PCHS boys’ soccer team 2-1 in the 3A quarterfinals.
On Wednesday afternoon, it was the Lady Reds soccer team’s turn to make Park City miserable, claiming a 2-1 victory in the first round of the 3A girls’ playoffs.
The Lady Reds’ first goal came on a beautiful free kick in the eighth minute that even U.S. star goalkeeper Hope Solo would have had trouble blocking.
That 1-0 lead would last until shortly after halftime, when Park City’s Lauren Walker found the back of the net on a perfectly placed free kick of her own in the 45th minute.
From that point on, the Miners had several goal-scoring opportunities, but none made its way past the Cedar keeper. Meanwhile, the Lady Reds capitalized on their best scoring opportunity in the second half to earn a 2-1 victory and advance to the next round of the playoffs.
Cedar’s second goal came when a Park City defender tripped, allowing a Lady Red to make her way toward the Miners’ goal unhindered, where she made a nice pass to an open teammate who scored the game-winning goal in the 68th minute.
Though Park City goalies Hannah Hyatt (first half) and Hannah Gardner (second half) both allowed a goal, Park City coach Chip Cook said both played an outstanding game.
"Both goalkeepers had great games today," she said. "That second goal, when it’s shot from six yards out, is a difficult one. And that first one was a perfectly placed free kick. I think she was even shocked at how well she hit it."
Offensively, Cook said Park City got off to a slow start, but really stepped up the intensity level after the halftime break.
"We were a little sluggish to start the game," she said. "Our first touch was off several times. But we improved in the second half and we had our chances. We were down [by the goal] a lot. We were aggressive, but we just couldn’t finish it off."
Wednesday’s loss marked the earliest the girls’ soccer team has ever lost in the playoffs.
As Park City gathered for one final team huddle after the game, Cook said it was difficult to find the right words to say.
"What I said to them was, ‘Yes, I’m sad we lost, but I’m more sad that I don’t get to be with you guys anymore,’" she said. "I’m so proud of this team. They were such a coach-able, connected group and it’s really sad for a team that’s that tight to go down in such a harsh way."
The Miners won’t lose nearly as many seniors as they did from last year’s squad, making it easier to compete again next season. But Cook isn’t quite ready to think that far ahead yet.
"I think we’ve always got good athletes and great soccer players," she said. "We can always challenge teams. I’m not ready to start thinking about next year, though. This one stung."
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Park City native Sebastian Saucedo fulfilled his dream of playing for his local team. Now he’s trying to take a step forward playing in Mexico.