PCHS soccer season ends in playoff loss | ParkRecord.com

PCHS soccer season ends in playoff loss

Park City s Josh Clifton kicks the ball away from a Tooele player during a game earlier this season. The Miners lost a first-round playoff game at Logan on Thursday afternoon.

Less than a minute into Thursday afternoon’s game, the Park City High School boys’ soccer team found itself trailing Logan 1-0 in the first round of the 3A playoffs.

The Miners quickly regrouped, shaking off the early struggles and scoring the tying goal 15 minutes later.

From there, though, the Grizzlies rebounded and controlled the rest of the match, taking a 3-1 lead into halftime and eventually earning a 5-1 victory.

Though the end result was disappointing, Park City Coach Tom Merchant said the early part of the match was fairly even.

"It was an unfortunate first minute there," he said. "The nice part was we responded to it well. Maybe 15 minutes in, we tied it up, which showed some spark. I think they recovered very quickly to the shock that allowing an early goal gave them."

Matt Gregory scored the goal for Park City, with Cole Stanton picking up the assist. Though the Miners only scored one goal, Merchant said the offense had more chances than the score would indicate.

"As one-sided as the score was, we had some good opportunities in front of the goal," he said. "We didn’t produce, which has been a problem this year. But we were able to get some attack going forward. It wasn’t all playing on our end."

Defensively, Merchant said the Grizzlies’ speed gave the Miners problems for most of the game.

"They were a fast team on the outside and put some pressure on our flanks that we had hoped to respond to better," he said.

Though Park City finished the Region 10 season on a high note and compiled a 5-3 record, tiebreakers with Grantsville forced the Miners into the No. 3 seed. That made things more difficult, Merchant said, since the No. 2 seed gets to host the first-round game.

"It certainly would have been more pleasant to have played at home," he said. "But we met a strong opponent in Logan. I wish them all the best going forward."

Speaking of going forward, the Miners are in a good position for next season, Merchant said. Park City only played two seniors at the varsity level — Greg Shagen and Kyle Webster.

"Although we will miss our two senior varsity players, that leaves us a very strong squad going forward that’s learning to play together," Merchant said. "I think we’ll be stronger and stronger in the future."

Plus, Merchant added, some of the JV players will be added to the varsity mix next year, which will help increase the Miners’ depth on the bench.

"What will make it challenging is we have a lot of players at the younger levels who will be vying for playing time at the top level," he said. "We thrive on that, though. If you’re a player who doesn’t like competition, you’re in the wrong spot. It’s very healthy for us to have that competition."

Park City finished with an overall record of 5-10.

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