PCHS soccer season ends with 1-0 loss
The Park City High School girls’ soccer team saw a familiar playoff foe take the field Saturday afternoon at the North 40 fields. Lining up opposite the Miners in the 3A playoff quarterfinal game was Cedar, the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last year in a 2-1 defeat at Dozier Field.
Cedar’s Nicole Jenkins scored early in the first half to put Park City in a 1-0 hole from which it never recovered. Despite several shots on goal in the second half, Cedar goalie Megan Giddings held strong and the game ended with a 1-0 Park City loss.
Park City Coach Chip Cook said the Miners struggled early against the defending 3A state champions.
"At the beginning of the game — the first 20 minutes or so after they scored — we just couldn’t quite get the game plan together enough to make a difference," she said. "I don’t know if they came in with more confidence than us because they won state last year or if they just believed more — I don’t know."
In the second half, though, the Miners put more pressure on the Cedar defense as forwards Erin McNeely, Lindsay Gordon, Evie Edwards and others created dangerous scoring opportunities. The Miners dominated possession in the second half and looked like the better team, Cook said.
"Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter who was the better team," she said. "It just matters who scored the goal. We weren’t able to connect on some of those late chances. The goalie made a couple of nice saves, but we created a lot of offensive opportunities and just couldn’t capitalize. It was a well-played game and I thought we executed our game plan very well in the second half, but it just wasn’t enough today."
Cook said there were some shots the Miners took that may have been more likely to have gone in if one more pass was made. But, she added, Park City was playing for second-chance opportunities.
"We had some clear possession and we took some shots earlier than maybe I would have liked," she said. "But we talked at halftime about how the [Cedar] goalie was giving up some rebounds, so we wanted to take those opportunities. [The Miners] were doing what we were asking of them, but they were taking some pretty tough shots at times. All in all, though, I was happy with the way they played. It’s just a bummer."
It was the final game for the team’s nine seniors — Gordon, McNeely, Hannah Gardner, Kristen Mosher, Claire West, Julia Morelli, Bailey Hodgson, Emma Burke and Bre Cartwright — and Cook said this year’s graduating class left a lasting mark on the Park City program.
"These seniors were just incredible," she said. "They kept the whole team connected and were accepting of everybody. They leave a legacy of leadership and positivity and teamwork and family that will hopefully last for years to come."
Park City finished the season with a 10-7-1 overall record. And while the Miners went 1-6-1 in preseason play, facing only 4A and 5A schools, don’t expect Cook to change the non-region schedule too much. She said she will continue to stay away from other 3A schools and play bigger schools to prepare for the Region 10 season.
"I prefer to play 4A and 5A opponents," she said. "I believe the quality of soccer from the 4A opponents is good enough to get us ready for the season."
The Miners will attempt to claim a third-straight region title next year. Cook said this year’s region-winning team put together a fantastic 2015 campaign.
"We had a great season," she said. "I couldn’t have asked for anything more."
The Park City High School girls golf team took second in the Class 4A state championship tournament on Thursday. It was the team’s fifth consecutive time as runner-up.