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Playoff game set for Dozier Field

David Hampshire, The Park Record

The odds were that, going into the state playoffs as the third seed from Region 10, the Park City High School boys’ soccer team wouldn’t see the friendly surroundings of Dozier Field again until next season.

So much for the odds.

Thanks to their 3-2 overtime win Thursday in Ogden over the Ben Lomond Scots, combined with a 1-0 victory by Cedar City over Spanish Fork, the Park City Miners will be hosting the Cedar City Redmen, the fourth seed from Region 9, at Dozier Field today (May 4) at 1 p.m. in the second round of the state 3A playoffs.

Because Ben Lomond was the second seed from Region 11, the Scots hosted the first-round playoff game against Park City Thursday. But the Scots, with a mediocre 5-5 record, had their hands full against the visiting Miners (9-5-1).

Gunnar Stray-Gundersen put Park City ahead 1-0 with a penalty kick early in the first half. However, Ben Lomond tied the score at 1-1 with about 10 minutes left in the half.

In the opening seconds of the second half, the Miners regained the lead by taking the kickoff and moving right down the field. Carl Turner made a good move to beat a Ben Lomond defender then sent a cross to Brad Mulick, who put the ball past the Scots’ goalkeeper.

But again the Scots tied the score on what Jesse Blais, Park City’s head coach, called a "silly foul." Ben Lomond all-star Victor Galindo took the free kick from about 25 yards out and sent a laser that bounced off the bottom of the crossbar into the net.

Blais said that Park City dominated possession for the rest of the second half but couldn’t regain the lead. So the game went into overtime.

The Miners finally put the game away with a golden goal about three minutes before the end of the first overtime period. Will MacFarlane sent a pas into the Ben Lomond corner where Park City captain Alejandro Vieyra beat a Scots’ defender to the ball. Vieyra fed Gundersen in front of the net, and the Miners’ leading scorer didn’t miss, racking up his second goal of the game.

For Blais, the goal couldn’t have come at a better time.

"We were definitely dominating them, and if they had taken it into penalty kicks, they would have had a much higher chance of winning," he said.

Meanwhile, Cedar City was helping set the table for Saturday’s game in Park City by knocking off the Spanish Fork Dons, the top seed from Region 12. Although Spanish Fork had the higher seed, the teams had identical 8-6-1 records going into the game and Cedar City plays in a tougher region, according to Blais. "They (Region 9) are probably the strongest region besides ours," he said. So Cedar’s 1-0 victory was hardly an upset.

Meanwhile, Blais pointed out, Juan Diego, which earned the second seed in Region 10 by beating the Miners in their last league game on April 29, knocked off Bear River 4-1 on Thursday but now has the unenviable task of traveling to southern Utah today to take on the 13-2-2 Desert Hills Thunder.

For the Miners, that third seed looks pretty good right now.


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